Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Secondcoming...

Eye On Islam returns in the New Year.

In the mean time, Merry Christmas, you infidel scum.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

State of Hostilities (Updated)

As the Palestinian Authority continues its attempt to achieve statehood beginning with full acceptance of United Nations membership, here are three reasons why this action should be opposed by the international community.


1. Under international law, the first condition required for a political entity to be considered a state is as follows:

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory; c ) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

The Palestininian Authority has no complete legal control over a permanent population, and therefore cannot be classified as a state.

2. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in line with the general policy of the Fatah group he leads, has repeatedly refused to recognise Israel as a Jewish state, failed to condemn terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians (something which even Yasser Arafat did, although his condemnations were obviously insincere), and rejected groundbreaking peace offerings from successive Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Binyamin Netanyahu (see details here, here and here).

3. By the admission of its own MPs, Fatah's drive to form a "two-state solution" based on the 1967 armistice lines is a purely practical political initiative, designed as a temporary step toward annexing the whole of Israel. This process does not differ significantly from the terrorist group Hamas' intention to conquer all of Israel - an existing United Nations member state - using a transitional "Palestinian state" as a first step in a long-term plan (see final paragraph here). This objective is clearly incompatible with the image of a "state" that wants and deserves official recognition at the UN.
UPDATE: What was I saying?

Palestinian Authority representatives in the United Nations are handing out maps of "Palestine" that show it in place of all of Israel, including Tel Aviv, reports David Bedein of the Israel Resource Review.

Bedein, who is currently in the United States, told Arutz Sheva: "They do not want a Palestinian state, but all of Palestine. The maps they hand out in their offices include all of 'Palestine.' They erase Israel completely in their maps."

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Feeding The Lions

Never fear - he only wants good sharia, not bad sharia

In what he will undoubtedly consider to be his finest moment as Prime Minister, thousands of Libyans turned out to cheer David Cameron, along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in Benghazi today.

"It is great to be in free Libya," Mr Cameron said. "Col Gaddafi said he would hunt you down like rats, but you showed the courage of lions."

Very poetic and stirring words...if only they were in support of a more worthy cause.

We already know that the National Transitional Council, upon whom NATO have put such hopes in forging a new "freedom-loving" Libya, consist partially of Islamic jihadists who fought AGAINST our troops in Iraq, and partially of others who may have had similar inclinations but whom we can't be bothered to investigate. It is even reported today by CNN that an anonymous senior defense official at the Pentagon, when asked if there were members of terrorist groups operating inside the NTC, replied, "Yeah, probably".

Cameron and Sarkozy's best friend during this whole adventure has been Mustafa Abdul Jalil, an NTC leader. On the one hand, Jalil has said that the new Libyan government "will not accept any extremist ideology", and that he is for "moderate Islam" - after which Cameron apparently stopped listening, since he has also stated explicitly:

"We are seeking to establish a state government by law and welfare - and Shari'ah - Islamic law - should be the main source of law".

Only three months ago, Cameron fought tooth and nail against some of his own MPs - including Nick Clegg - to get the official government definitions of "Islamic extremism" altered to include "the advocacy of sharia law". Is he against sharia law in the UK, but not against it in Libya? If so, why? If sharia is good enough for a "free Libya", in his words, why would it not be good enough for the UK, as well?

Needless to say, if you go to the link above and read the apologetic article which quotes Jalil's sharia statement, you will see that it is written by Dr. Abdul Wahid, Chairman of the UK Executive Committee of Hizb ut-Tahrir. Dr. Wahid fully supports the NTC's sharia vision for Libya. Hizb ut-Tahrir openly promote sharia in the UK, and David Cameron has on several occasions called for them to be banned. What would he make of the fact that an organisation he wants to outlaw support the stated governmental ambitions of his new ally, who himself advocates a form of governance Cameron deems to be incompatible with with the "freedom" he wants to promote in Libya?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Ten Years On, Are We Safer?

Perhaps the single most asked analytical question as we reached the tenth anniversary of 9/11 was a variation of the following: "Ten years after those attacks, are we safer now than we were then?"

I believe that the answer to this question lies not so much in what is happening in the military realm of which side - us or the terrorists - has the most men left standing, but in the ideological world, where our understanding of the threat must necessarily come from.

The terrorists who committed those acts did so in the name of Islam. As several 9/11 conspirators stated in an "Islamic Response" to the American government who put them on trial, "killing you and fighting you, destroying you and terrorizing you, responding back to your attacks, are all considered to be great legitimate duty in our religion. These actions are our offerings to God. In addition, it is the imposed reality on Muslims in Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, in the land of the two holy sites [Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia], and in the rest of the world, where Muslims are suffering from your brutality, terrorism, killing of the innocent, and occupying their lands and their holy sites. Nevertheless, it would have been the greatest religious duty to fight you over your infidelity. However, today, we fight you over defending Muslims, their land, their holy sites, and their religion as a whole."

The conspirators quote from the Qur'an at least a dozen times in their response, including immediately following the statement that "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."

Elsewhere, al-Qaeda and rafts of other terrorist groups have justified their actions, again and again, by referring to Islamic texts and teachings.

And yet, despite all this, a decade on, we still live in a world where even to speak about such things is not only considered politically incorrect, but actually the height of vulgarity. Again and again, our political leaders insist that even though the terrorists themselves say that Islam is their motivation, actually it is not, and we must ignore Islam in all this and focus on "extremism".

Only a few days ago, Liam Fox, the Defense Secretary of the current British government, insisted on BBC's Question Time that "we must not fall into the trap" of believing that terror attacks by Muslims "have anything to do with Islam", and the lemming-like audience applauded him. Even David Cameron, while critiquing the failed policy (or pet project) of multiculturalism, claimed that "The point is this: the ideology of extremism is the problem; Islam emphatically is not."

So even though Islam contains within it doctrines which are violent and supremacist, and even though terrorists repeatedly invoke those teachings to justify their actions, we must overlook this, because David Cameron says that there is this "ideology of extremism" that is out there somewhere, and can presumably be invoked as the terrorists' true inspiration, and we should focus on that instead, and that will help us beat them.


It is a sad time for the rational thinking person when a Muslim in Fort Hood, Texas, gives an academic lecture to his victims explaining that he is soon going to attack them because of his religion, and yet this atrocity is not only allowed to still happen, but the man's reasons for committing it are later whitewashed in the US military's official reports on the incident.

Similar willful ignorance has also led to widespread political support for the so-called "Arab Spring", despite the recent antisemitic rioting in Egypt, and despite a whole host of other things that make the Middle Eastern Muslim commitment to "democracy" (when understood in its expansive Western formulation) seem questionable at best.

Self-imposed unawareness of the threat doctrine has also led to the increasing capitulation to sharia throughout the Western world. Sharia is a draconian system of totalitarian law that violates fundamental human rights and crushes individual freedom. And yet, in America, sharia has been considered or applied in state court judgements in at least 23 states, in violation of the US Constitution. In Germany, it is frequently used in court decisions. And here in the UK, sharia is an increasingly threatening - and worryingly sanctioned - shadow legal system that is issuing rulings that run counter to British law.

All of this was happening to a certain extent BEFORE 9/11. But since, it is almost as if the fall of those towers has acted as the catalyst for the Western world to hasten its own decline, out of fear and shame. Those infamous events have produced greater levels of organised resistance to the jihad threat than existed before them. But we cannot possibly consider ourselves "safer" when we will not even acknowledge the motivations, goals and origins of the ideological threat we face. We cannot be "safer" when we are so fixated on one organisation - al-Qaeda - that we ignore the well-developed mindset and worldview that generated it. Although the attacks gave us the kick up the backside our security agencies needed to guard us more effectively against all future attacks, that in itself will not be enough.

As sad as it is, a decade on from 9/11, we are only marginally safer now than we were then.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Debunking The Nigerian Tribune

The paucity of reason and evidence Islamic apologists have in their favour is demonstrated again in this article today by Azeez Ishaq Oladimeji at the Nigerian Tribune.

Oladimeji opines that "The perception of an average non-muslim is that Islam is a violent religion, which mean that muslimas, therefore, are violent...However, all these perceptions are wrong. Islam is a religion of peace."

Aside from the fact that this is a straw man - believing that Islam is a violent religion does NOT mean that one also believes that all Muslims are violent; anyone who does believe such a thing is a fool - he then goes on to fill the rest of his article with falsehoods and ignorance.

Firstly, he quotes Qur'an 5:32 as follows: "Because of that, we ordained for the children of Israel that if anyone killed a person, not in relatiation of murder, or (and) be spread mischief in the hand [sic], it would be as if he killed all mankind. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind."

Notice that he does not quote the verse along with its surrounding context, which paints an entirely different picture:

For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth.

The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom.” (5:32-33)

Thus, in its full context, we can see that this passage is actually a threat to the Jews not to oppose the Muslims or they will face crucifixion, mutilation or banishment.

After this, he quotes the following: "And do not kill anyone whose killing Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. And whoever is killed wrongfully (intentionally with hostility and oppression and not by mistake), we have given his heir the authority to demand the law of equality in punishment or to forgive, or to take blood-money. But let him not exceed the limits in the matter of taking life.” (17:33)

Oladimeji omits mention of the fact that according to revered Muslim Qur'an commentators such as Ibn Kathir, this verse only applies to "wrongfully" killing Muslims, not unbelievers.

He then cites an anonymous non-Muslim author who quoted two hadith in which Muhammad is recorded as having first of all tortured a Jewish leader in order to force him to reveal the location of hidden treasure, before having him killed, as well as praising the brutal murder of a non-Muslim shepherd by one of his followers. Oladimeji asserts that these stories are pure fabrications on the part of the infidel author, and that no source can be found for them.

Well, I'll tell you the source: Ibn Ishaq's The Life of Muhammad. As I'm sure Oladimeji knows, Ibn Ishaq was a pious Muslim, and Muhammad's earliest biographer. His work is the most important biographical material on Muhammad in existence, and is highly renowned among Muslims.

The Jewish leader who was tortured to death by Muhammad was Kinana b. al-Rabi, and the incident took place at the Khaybar oasis in approximately 629 AD. It is documented on page 515 of Alfred Guillaume's English translation of Ibn Ishaq's work. The second incident was not immediately familiar to me, but after a brief flick through The Life of Muhammad, I found it - it's on page 673.

I hope the author will take the time to condemn Ibn Ishaq for fabricating these stories in order "to tarnish the image of Islam and to condemn Muslims."

Oladimeji asserts that all the violent verses in the Qur'an "were revealed to Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) at the time when non-believing were attacking Makkah’s muslims and threatening those that were in Medina. Thus, Allah allowed them to defend themselves. In other words, those verses are for special historical situation, concerning the beginning of Islam."

In fact, most of the Qur'an's most violent passages were revealed after Muhammad had already extinguished the Quraysh as a threat. Much of sura 9, for example, was revealed around the time Muhammad was launching offensive military operations against the Byzantine Empire, who had never heard of him until he started threatening their rulers and demanding that they convert to Islam. At around the same time, he was also sending his fiercest warriors, such as Khalid bin Walid, to fight the few remaining non-Muslim tribes of Arabia and convert them to Islam by force. One tribe in Yemen was told, "Break them (i.e. the arrows) and testify that None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, or else I will chop off your neck." (Bukhari v.5, b.59, no.643) Muhammad sent Khalid to the Banu Harith tribe, and "ordered him to invite them to Islam for three days before he fought them. If they were to respond and submit, he was to teach them the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Prophet, and the requirements of Islam. If they should decline, then he was to fight them." (Tabari v.9, p82)

The main problem with the "You have to understand it in its historical context" argument is that it is entirely selective. The entire Qur'an was revealed in relation to specific events that occurred in Muhammad's life. How, then, does Oladimeji propose that we decide which verses are supposed to be applied only to a specific time period, and which are supposed to be taken as general, everlasting principles? Why must the violent verses be seen as historical relics, but the peaceful-sounding verses be seen as applying to everyone today, when both were revealed 1400 years ago in reaction to particular circumstances? And what's more, does Oladimeji believe, as do the vast majority of Muslims, that the Qur'an is eternal and uncreated? If so, what is the point of it containing reams of commandments which are now not to be applied and are no use to anybody?

Note: This article has been emailed directly to the Nigerian Tribune. If there is any response, it will be published here in full.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

What Now For Libya?

Celebrations in Tripoli...but who will take the cake?

As news filters through that the Libyan "rebels" have taken control of Colonel Gaddafi's compound, bringing that lunatic's reign of terror ever closer, our short-sighted media is exultant. Not very much thought is being given at all by either them or our policymakers as to what exactly is the nature of the "revolution" we've taken far too long and spent far too much money to help bring about.

The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which has played a major role in the uprisings against Gaddafi, contains former members of al-Qaeda. As author John Bradley notes in a cogently argued new article today, a key commander of this group has praised al Qaeda as "good Muslims...fighting against the invader" in Iraq. A look back at a 2007 study shows that the Benghazi region of Libya, where the rebels are primarily based, was responsible for sending more Islamic jihadists to Iraq to fight Coalition troops than any other location on Earth.

And a draft Constitution penned by the Transitional National Council, which has been officially recognised by Western leaders as the government of Libya, contains the following worrying statement:

Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).

Of course, the authenticity of this document, which has found its way online, is not 100% verified, and there are reasons to take it with a pinch of salt. It could have potentially been written by anybody. But if it does turn out to be legitimate, this declaration would not be at all surprising. After all, Coalition-backed "revolutionary" governments in both Iraq and Afghanistan implemented identical provisions in their constitutions, rendering any overtures towards Western conceptions of "democracy", "human rights" and "freedom" utterly moot. Just ask Abdul Rahman. And given the jihadist connections which are deeply entrenched within the rebel movement, a push for a sharia-based government would not be difficult to envisage.

Once again we have seen our leaders all too eager to get involved in a war in the Middle East without knowing what we actually want to achieve long-term, and without knowing who our friends and enemies actually are. In the last decade, the sheer cost in terms of wealth and human lives has been astronomical, but the positive dividends most assuredly have not.

No one will be sad to see the back of Gaddafi when he's finally caught like a rat in a hole somewhere. But perhaps more importantly, I sincerely doubt that anyone will much like what comes after he's gone, either.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Exposing A Faux "Moderate"

"The Flying Imam" just ran out of fuel

In this pointless Op-Ed over at Digital Journal today, we are treated to the wisdom of Dr. Sahib Mustaqim Bleher, a German-born Muslim who now lives in Britain, and is convinced that becoming Islamic emirate is just what the UK needs. He and his "Holy Qur'an" (their words, not mine) are treated with the utmost reverence by the interviewers, who don't seem prepared to ask any probing questions whatsoever.

Take the first question. Dr. Bleher is asked:

We´ve recently seen reports of stickers going up in some areas of London which claim it is a Sharia controlled zone - that is Sharia with an H. A certain Anjem Choudary has claimed responsibility for them. I gather you regard this guy as a clown.

Bleher responds:

[I d]on’t understand the Sharia with an H comment, the correct transliteration of the Arabic word is Shariah. He is either misguided or mischievous. Or ignorant. You can’t have a Sharia-compliant zone as a separate enclave in a country as if the government of the country was suspended. Of course, a community may have its own “vigilantes” to ensure that their streets are free from drug dealers or prostitution, for example, but how are they going to get their local bank branch to abandon interest-based banking? None of us lives in a power vacuum, so any change has to be political, not symbolic. In my book Surrendering Islam I have shown how Islamic organisations and activism are often purposefully subverted and hijacked in order to bring about a confrontation. Genuine Islam is usually the loser. I imagine that Anjem Choudary took his inspiration for the Shariah-controlled zone from Jews who have their own districts in most major European towns classified as Eruvs, demarcated areas where a sufficient large number of Jews live to consider the place culturally Jewish, so the restrictions for the Sabbat can be relaxed. But Islam isn’t Judaism, and the same model doesn’t really work for us.

Notice that Bleher does not say that sharia should not be the law of the land, even in Britain. He simply says that Choudary and his cronies are going about it in the wrong way. He then deliberately tries to confuse his Western, secularised audience by making a facile comparison between Islamic enclaves and Jewish neighbourhoods, which both deflects away from and trivilises the anti-societal threat posed by Islamic supremacist self-segregation (Soeren Kern documents the latter extensively in a new article published today at Hudson NY).

The next question is:

When certain newspapers talk about Sharia they project this image of people having their hands chopped off for theft or stoned to death for adultery, curiously they don´t mention this sort of thing: or this

First of all, the two examples linked to above demonstrate absolutely nothing about sharia - they demonstrate nice people doing nice things. Neither of the "good" Muslims seen here ever invoked Islam or its teachings - let alone sharia - as their primary motivation for their actions, and even if they had, that would not mitigate the more unpleasant aspects of sharia, such as the aforementioned amputations and stonings.

Speaking of which, you will notice once again that in his answer, Bleher never denies that these brutal punishments are part of sharia; he just circumambulates around the issue with a lot of fluff:

The media love sound bites. They work on emotions rather than understanding. The Shariah means the “way” or “path” by which the Muslim community is governed, in other words, the legal code Muslims apply in their dealings with each other. It is made up of source law and case law and like any legal system it is detailed and complex and cannot be reduced to two items of punishment perceived to be cruel. You wouldn’t sum up the British legal system by saying: if you insult the monarch, they hang you, since high treason does carry the death penalty in the British legal code. A lot of media pundits would have been hanged otherwise.

When asked about sharia courts arbitrating in the UK, Bleher argues that "It is a myth that British and Islamic law are incompatible in every respect" - a nice little "sound bite" (to use his phrase) which of course does not rule out the possibility that British and Islamic law may be incompatible in some respects!

The good doctor defends his uncompromising attitude towards homosexuality, as would many Christians, but some research on his website turns up the fact that - unlike most Christians - the "progressive" Dr. Bleher advocates the execution of homosexuals if they engage in "a public display of lewdness witnessed by several people". He also supports the idea, pulled direct from the Qur'an (3:28), of disassociating from non-Muslims, although he equivocates that this would only be permitted if a Muslim was trying to befriend a non-Muslim "in preference to or against a Muslim" - a statement that belies his claim to be opposed to the "clash of civilizations" concept. Anyone who so fervently advocates the divine regulation of personal friendships based on religious alliances clearly does not hold to the equality of all people before God.

Oh, and to cap things off, Dr. Bleher likes polygamy as well, "so as to protect a wife from being abandoned in favour of another." However, "Whilst there is a conditional acceptance of polygamy in Islam, a woman may not have more than one husband, as this would make it extremely difficult for a child to know who his or her father is."

Just who appointed this slimy character as a spokesman for moderate British Muslims?

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Mubarak: Zionist Puppet?

Do you remember the "revolution" that swept through Egypt earlier this year? The one that proved that Islam and liberal democracy are fully compatible?

The one where the majority of the "pro-democracy" reformers marching in the streets wanted to implement brual sharia punishments in the country?

The one where the most organised resistance to the oppressive regime was an Islamic organisation that seeks to implement sharia law?

The one where an American journalist covering the events was sexually assaulted by crowds of men screaming, "Jew! Jew!"?

The one where a known extremist speaker took the microphone in the centre of Cairo and called for Muslims to re-conquer Jerusalem, and hundreds of thousands of Muslims cheered him?

Remember that revolution? Of course you do.

Well, its fruits are still being felt. A show broadcast only two days ago on Egypt's religious channel, Al-Hekma TV, displayed malignant antisemitism in the form of a demented puppet show, in which children acted as prosecutors against the ousted President Mubarak.

In the show, Mubarak is accused of being an "enemy of Allah". Why, specifically? Because he is "Israel's best friend". The show puts the following words into the puppet Mubarak's mouth:

"As long as the Israelis occupy Palestine, we must treat them well. These Jews have always been good people. In the Jewish quarter here, we have always known that they keep their word."

Note the references not just to Israelis, but to Jews in general.

Most maliciously, Mubarak is accused of importing poisonous pesticides from - where else? - Israel, resulting in his bringing "cancer upon the Egyptian people". A reminder that while Muslim anti-Jewish conspiracy theories can sometimes venture into the comical, they also serve as a deadly serious inciting factor in a potentially genocidal hatred of Jews.

This is, of course, nothing new. During the "revolution", we saw protestors waving placards with Mubarak's image "defiled" with a Star of David. We also heard protestors say that a principle reason for demonstrating against him was his alleged support for Israel. Clearly, then, it was somewhat premature, if not entirely misinformed, to joyously proclaim that the displacement of Hosni Mubarak would result in a Westernised democracy untainted by radical Islamic prejudices.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Why Islam Is Not Confined to Personal Worship

One of the things that non-Muslim Westerners most consistently fail to understand about Islam is that it is not just a religion. It is also a political system - and a fascist one at that, which seeks to control every aspect of a person's life down to the smallest detail, including but not limited to dietary and toilet habits. It thus appears to such uninformed Westerners that Islam - which they see as merely a few rituals and quirky beliefs about the afterlife - could not possibly be a threat to the political order of non-Muslim societies. Frequently, those who do describe Islam as a totalitarian political system are decried as "Islamophobes" - but this ignores the fact that this understanding of Islam is a part of its mainstream culture.

This was brought home to me over the weekend while reading two English-language articles which both came out of the Muslim world. The first is from a letter by a female Muslim on this Malaysian news site. In it, the author irately notes the following:

A great misconception of Islam lies in the fact that it is nothing more than a theological reflection confined to the realm of personal worshiping. Far from truth, the very essence of Islam as taught by Prophet Muhammad SAW dictates that Islam encompasses all spheres of life, from etiquette to commerce to good governance of a country.

A little later on, the author refers to a recent controversy in the country, in which the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) was heavily criticised for raiding a church and arresting Christians who were allegedly seeking to preach the Gospel to Muslims. She passionately writes:

The more recent issue concerning Jais and Hassan Ali further underlined the effort to reduce Islam to merely ritual worship devoid of its 'syumul'/holistic concept. The fashionably 'human rights' and 'moral policing' terms quickly make their way to the fore condemning the authority, when Islam has outlined its principle clearly that apostasy is one of the biggest sin and any conduct that leads to this effect should be arrested immediately.

This rule has been held dearly for more than 1,400 years ago despite the effort to force Islam to embrace the stance opted by other religions in apostasy matters...

For the author, "
The distorted view that prevails is that in order for Muslims to fit in the multicultural society, he/she should remove their identity as much as possible, leaving behind the Islamic says [sic] in their day to day business, and only proceed with their five prayers in the mosques, wedding ceremonies and Raya celebration. For good Muslims, the tenets of their religion are embraced as a whole and not selectively chosen."

To sum up:

The multiracial components of Malaysian society have lived together in harmony for many years and they must accept the fact that for Muslims, Islam is not simply a theological scripture confined within the space of the mosque. It translates into their everyday life.

And to put it more succinctly, here is the first line from another recent article in the Pakistan Observer:

Islam offers a complete code of life in every aspect of human existence.

With this context in mind (and there are reams of further examples from Muslim writers, scholars and websites - not bigoted infidels - that I could adduce), it should become clearer why Islam does pose a not-intangible threat to Wetern societies: As it creeps further and further into our lives and neighbourhoods, it brings with it adherents who have a ready-made programme for societal governance = sharia law. This programme includes numerous rigourously codified strictures that are fundamentally in opposition to values and constructs upon which Western society was built. These laws violate human rights (e.g. denying freedom of speech when it comes to criticism of Islam, sanctioning death for those who leave the faith, confining women to household slaves and sex objects and condoning marital violence against them) and uproot cherised Western institutions (e.g. legal systems, education, etc).

Sharia is not a gimmicky "plug-in" for Islam that was invented by a few crazies. It is the very essence of Islam itself - without it, very little is left. One of its primary sources, the hadith, is full to bursting with Muhammad's wisdom and commandments on all manner of personal and societal issues, many of which govern the daily lives of almost every Muslim to this day. The five pillars of Islam are themselves a key component of sharia, and are legislated over meticulously, to the extent that many ordinary Muslims are confused and simply have no idea when they are supposed to pray, for how long, and what circumstances validate or invalidate their prayers, and must seek advice from a resident clerical "expert".

Once, while watching the Islam Channel on Sky, I saw an episode of its "Islam Q & A" programme, in which an imam takes viewers' calls and questions live on air. One particular woman had just come back from visiting family in Africa, and had brought back with her some souvenir figures of animals such as giraffes and zebras. She had called because she wanted to know if it was permissible for her as a Muslim to keep these figures in her home. The cleric answered that having models of animals in her home could be construed as idolatry and that she should get rid of them immediately.

What kind of "religion" makes it a sin to keep a toy giraffe in your living room? And more than that, what kind of "spiritual experience" makes a woman feel that it is necessary to contact a complete stranger and ask him if she is allowed to do so?

Need I remind you that this specific example does not come from some deeply tribal part of Africa or the Middle East - it comes from Muslim communities right here in the UK.

That is why non-Muslims in the West need to stop projecting their own understanding of what a religion is onto Islam, when its very nature is more complicated, and more political, than they give it credit for. When an ideology is political in nature, and when it demands forceful imposition of its rules on those currently outside of its influence by way of jihad, it must necessarily be seen as a problematic and potentially dangerous invading force, and dealt with accordingly.

To close this essay, I leave you with the words of Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi, one of the foremost Islamic thinkers of the twentieth century. His view of Islam as a complete way of life is not an "extremist" position, but one that has been read, digested and understood by millions of Muslims around the world. We ignore this fact at our own peril.

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.”

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

In Whom Do We Trust?

Naser Abdo - The moderate who wasn't

Last week, Naser Jason Abdo - a Muslim in the US military - appeared in court on charges of planning a terrorist attack against the Fort Hood army base in Texas.

Investigators say Abdo was found in a motel room three miles from Fort Hood's main gate with a handgun, an article titled "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom" and the ingredients for an explosive device, including gunpowder, shrapnel and pressure cookers. An article with that title appears in an al-Qaeda magazine.

Abdo is the second Muslim to attempt an attack against the base - the first being Nidal Malik Hasan, who killed dozens of people in 2009. Fortunately, Abdo's own plans were thwarted before any lives could be taken, but according to reports, he exuntantly chanted Hasan's name as he was led out of the court on Friday.
The most troubling - and at the same time instructive - aspect of this new case is not that the same base should be targeted twice for jihad terror attacks by Muslims, or that Abdo was also recently charged with possessing child pornography (does he share a bit of his Prophet's soft spot for young children, perhaps?). No, the most worrying part of this story is the way that Abdo was able to deceive everyone he came into contact with by way of the most simplistic form of taqiyya, or religiously mandated deception.

Last year, Abdo appealed for consciencious objector status because he did not believe he was Islamically permitted to fight against other Muslims in Afghanistan (something Nidal Hasan also believed). At that time, he said the following in an interview with ABC News:
"I want to use my experience to show Muslims how we can lead our lives," he said. "And to try and put a good positive spin out there that Islam is a good, peaceful religion. We're not all terrorists, you know?"

And while we now know that Abdo supported the murderous actions of Hasan, at the time, he wrote an essay to Associated Press saying that the original Fort Hood shootings "run counter to what I believe in as a Muslim."

This would not be the first time that an American Muslim has claimed publicly to be a moderate, when in reality they are a jihadist. Late last year, a San Diego cleric with the wonderfully inventive name of Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, who was "known for advocating nonviolence and tolerance", was arrested for funding the Somalian jihadist organisation al-Shabab. And let's not forget CAIR.

In light of all this - the fact that Islam contains within it a doctrine that sanctions the deliberate deception of non-Muslims in order to progress the cause of Islam, and the fact that there are many available examples of Muslims telling unbelievers one thing and then doing another - I have to ask a question I have asked here a couple of times before: Why should we trust any Muslim who tells Linkus that they are moderate?

I am not, of course, saying that all Muslims who profess to be moderate are lying. I am merely saying that we have no reliable way to tell the difference between a genuine moderate Muslim and a deceiver - until it is too late. This being the case, suspicion of Muslims is completely justified - and this is not a problem that I or any other "Islamophobes" have made for them. It is a problem that they - and in particular their jihadist co-religionists such as Naser Abdo - have made for themselves. Perhaps when they start to address that fact honestly, we'll all begin to trust them a little bit more.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Spinning Muhammad (Part 3)

The third and final part of Rageh Omaar's documentary series "The Life Muhammad" (UK readers watch here) was the most outright deceptive (and selective) of the lot. In fact, it was so full of falsehoods that it's difficult to know where to start.

The first major thing that leapt out at me was when Omaar discusses Muhammad's marriage to nine-year-old Aisha, and makes out that her age can reasonably be disputed depending on who you ask, and that she could just as easily have been 16.

It's certainly true that some people will tell you that Aisha was a lot older than nine, but this claim flies completely in the face of the Islamic textual evidence. Five of the six Sahih Sittah (the most revered hadith collections) contain explicit testimonies that Aisha was nine at the time Muhammad consummated his marriage with her. Below is but one example from each collection, although there are many similar traditions to choose from:

Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old. (Bukhari v.5, b.58, no.236)

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old. (Muslim b.8, no.3311)

Aisha said: The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) married me when I was seven years old. The narrator Sulaiman said: Or six years. He had intercourse with me when I was nine years old. (Abu Dawud no.2116)

When Hadrat Aisha passed nine years of marriage life, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fell in mortal sickness… ‘A’isha was eighteen years of age at the time when the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed away and she remained a widow for forty-eight years till she died at the age of sixty-seven. (Nasai)

1877. Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said, "The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married ‘A’isha while she was a seven years [sic] old girl and took him [sic] to his house as a bride when she was nine years old and he parted with her (after his demise) when she was eighteen years old." (Ibn Majah)

Other important Islamic historical sources, including the biographies of Ibn Hisham, Tabari and Ibn Kathir also state explicitly that Aisha was nine. There is no evidence anywhere that she was older, except for circumstantial evidence which largely involves focusing on apparent timeline discrepancies, while ignoring every single authoritative text that says in black and white that she was nine. Omaar has thus created a "dispute" where there is none.

He does this again when it comes to Muhammad's multiple marriages. He allows Karen Armstrong to claim - again with no evidence at all - that the Prophet of Islam's polygamous marriages were not borne of lust, but were purely marriages of political convenience. This once again ignores what the most respected Muslim sources on Muhammad's life actually say. Muhammad resolved to marry his adopted son's wife, for example (who was known for being very beautiful), after accidentally walking in on her in a state of undress, which in the words of the famous Muslim historian Tabari "excited the admiration of the Messenger of God". (The History of al-Tabari, v.8, p.2)

Another wife, Safiyya bint Huyayy, was taken by Muhammad as a war captive after his attack on the Jewish oasis of Khaybar, and chosen specifically for her beauty:

We arrived at Khaibar, and when Allah helped His Apostle to open the fort, the beauty of Safiya bint Huyai bin Akhtaq whose husband had been killed while she was a bride, was mentioned to Allah's Apostle. The Prophet selected her for himself, and set out with her, and when we reached a place called Sidd-as-Sahba,' Safiya became clean from her menses then Allah's Apostle married her. (Bukhari v.5, b.59, no.522)

What any of this had to do with political or tribal calculations is anyone's guess.

One of the most egregious falsehoods in the entire series comes when Omaar describes Muhammad's takeover of Mecca as a wonderfully peaceful event, during which he declared a general amnesty and forgave every single one of his enemies. As the useful website Religion of Peace put it so superbly: "If the fact that an entire city wasn’t put to the sword after being conquered by a man against whom it did not want to fight is proof of forgiveness, then we would have to say that the bar is being set quite low."

In any case, Muhammad actually ordered the assassination of a number of his enemies upon taking control of Mecca, although not all the murders were eventually carried out. The unfortunate souls who were indeed murdered included Abdullah Khatal, an apostate, and one of his slave girls, as well as the Jews Abu Afak and Asma bint Marwan, both of whom were killed (as was Abdullah's slave girl) for the crime of "insulting" Muhammad by writing satirical verses.

Omaar also omits all mention of the way that, following his conquest of Mecca, Muhammad subdued the rest of Arabia by imposing Islam upon all the remaining tribes by force. One tribe in Yemen was told, "Break them (i.e. the arrows) and testify that None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, or else I will chop off your neck." (Bukhari v.5, b.59, no.643) Muhammad sent his most fearsome warrior, Khalid bin Walid, to the Banu Harith tribe, and "ordered him to invite them to Islam for three days before he fought them. If they were to respond and submit, he was to teach them the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Prophet, and the requirements of Islam. If they should decline, then he was to fight them." (Tabari v.9, p82)

You get the picture. Overall, non-Muslims have very little to learn from this series of documentaries, except that Muhammad was always and everywhere a victim, and managed to convince the whole of Arabia to convert to Islam simply by being so wonderful. I don't know how many people will buy it, but for those who felt unsure what to believe during and after watching the three episodes, I hope my analyses of some of their contents have been useful and instructive.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Taking Back The Fight

I condemn this monster

There are, unfortunately, those for whom the massacre of almost 100 innocent people in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik was not an occasion to mourn this tragic loss of life, but an opportunity for political point-scoring and smear-mongering.

Fortunately, there are also those among us who will not be cowed by this insane and willfully dishonest chest-thumping, and are sticking to their principles and contributing to the debate in positive ways.

At his highly readable blog, Daniel Greenfield debunks 6 popular myths about Breivik, including the canard that he is a "Christian fundamentalist" (his own words, as articulated in his 1,500-page manifesto, demonstrate that he is not a particularly religious person), and that he "hates Muslims" (he was in fact willing to make destructive alliances with them that would facilitate the re-establishment of a global Islamic caliphate), among others.

At Humans Events, Robert Spencer hits back at those who have attempted to blame him personally, along with other anti-jihad freedom fighters, for Breivik's massacre. Spencer observes:

The logic here is absurd, albeit oft-used on the Left. Just as the deranged Jared Loughner ’s shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was initially blamed on Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, so now the Left is using Breivik to try to discredit and silence the entire anti-jihad movement, as if this psychopath’s murders prove that his political proclivities are lethal in themselves. This would be like saying that no one can question Western policies vis-à-vis the Islamic world, for to do so would make one responsible for the 17,000 deadly jihad attacks that Muslims have committed worldwide since 9/11. It would be like saying that the Beatles were responsible for the Charles Manson murders because he thought he heard exhortations to kill in their songs, or that Jodie Foster was responsible for the shooting of Ronald Reagan because in John Hinckley’s befogged mind he thought it would impress her.

The intent of this campaign is clear. The scholars, politicians and activists who have spoken out about the threat to human rights and constitutional principles that jihad and Islamization pose have never advocated any kind of violence or illegal activity. By tarring them with the murders of Anders Breivik, the enemies of freedom hope to quash all resistance to the advance of Islamic supremacism in the West.

And on the BBC last night, EDL leader Stephen Lennon impressively demolished Jeremy Paxman's spiteful attempts to link Breivik to his organisation, reiterating the group's opposition to such barbaric behaviour.

From a personal angle, I feel it is important to add my own sadness that a man who expounded some views with which I wholeheartedly agree could commit such an appalling act of mass murder in service of them. There may be those in the anti-jihad movement who, understandably, feel that Anders Breivik's actions have set our cause back ten years, that his legacy will make it that much harder to spread the message of the counter-jihad resistance around the Western world. While I sympathise, I can vouch nevertheless that I will not give up the struggle. I will continue to fight the good fight. I will continue to defend my principles and my heritage against the encroachment of Islamic totalitarianism - not with bombs and bullets as Breivik did, but with the power of the word, and of knowledge. With the power of freedom and equality, dignity and courage.

We fight this war on an ideological front. We don't know for certain that we will win, but we believe. We fight because evil must be fought wherever it is found, because fighting is the only option for the civilised. Anders Behring Breivik has done some damage to our cause, but it is far from terminal.

The future is ours for the taking.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Sharia In The Land Of Oz

The progressive and civilised nature of sharia law is on display again, this time emanating from, of all places, Australia, where a soon-to-be-published report, summarised by The Australian, will make clear that "Sharia law has become a shadow legal system...endorsing polygamous and underage marriages that are outlawed under the Marriage Act."

A system of "legal pluralism" based on sharia law "abounds" in Australia, according to new research by legal academics Ann Black and Kerrie Sadiq. The study finds that not all Muslims are registering their marriages and some are relying on religious ceremonies to validate unions that breach the Marriage Act.

This includes "polygynist marriages", in which a man takes multiple wives, and marriages where one party is under the lawful marriage age.

Even worse:

The latest research has found that while polygamy is unlawful, mainstream law accommodates men who arrive in Australia with multiple wives and gives some legal standing to multiple partnerships that originate in Australia.

"Valid Muslim polygynist marriages, lawfully entered into overseas, are recognised, with second and third wives and their children able to claim welfare and other benefits," they write.

Changes to the Family Law Act in 2008 meant that polygamous religious marriages entered into in Australia could also be recognised as de facto marriages. "It means a second wife can be validly married under Islamic law . . . and be a defacto wife under Australian law with the same legal entitlements as any other de facto relationship," they write.

The Australian concession to sharia law - a foreign system of totalitarian governance that seeks to destroy the values upon which the country was built - is disturbing, but not surprising. After all, all the precedents for it have already been set here in Britain, the land of many Aussies' ancestors.

Sharia operating as a shadow legal system? Check.

Muslims not registering their marriages, thus rendering them illegal under the laws of their host country? Check.

Polygamy? Check.

Child marriage? Check. ("The practice [of forced marriage] affects mainly young Asian [read "Muslim"] women, with more than a third of cases involving those aged under 18. One in six victims are under 16.")

Polygamous families being given benefits despite their illegality under national secular law? Check.

In related news Down Under, two Muslims have been arrested for whipping a recent convert to Islam 40 times with a piece of electrical cable as a sharia-sanctioned punishment for drinking alcohol.

The article at The Australian tries to put a brave face on things with the following nugget:

In their article, associate professor Sadiq and Ms Black note that research on Islamic marriage found in 2008 that 90 per cent of Muslims did not want to change Australian law.

While this figure sounds encouraging - it's better than over here, anyway - it's still worth pointing out that if "only" 10% of Australian Muslims want to replace Australian law with sharia, that still amounts, according to census figures, to around 37,000 Muslims who crave fascism and sedition (total population = 21,766,711; 1.7% of whom are Muslims = 370,034; 10% of whom want sharia law = 37,003).

All of which makes plain why anti-sharia measures of the sort which are being proposed in several US states today are needed just as urgently in Australia as anywhere else.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Islamic Human Rights Abuse In Iran

Youcef Nadarkhani

The former pastor of a network of Christian churches in Iran could face execution by the state for apostasy.

Youcef Nadarkhani was arrested in his home city of Rasht on October 13, 2009 while attempting to register his church after protesting compulsory Islamic religious instruction in Iranian public schools. Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a human rights group, reports that he was originally charged with protesting; however, the charges against the 32-year-old were later changed to apostasy and evangelizing Muslims.

According to the official indictment put forward to the Iranian Supreme Court, the only way Mr Nadarkhani can now avoid his sentence is if he can prove that he was never actually a Muslim - a Herculean task, since he was apparently born into a Muslim family, and Islamic tradition has always held - as delineated by Muhammad himself - that every human being is born a Muslim, and only turned "astray" to other religions by their parents later in life.

As a US Department of State spokeswoman pointed out:

"He is just one of thousands who face persecution for their religious beliefs in Iran, including the seven leaders of the Baha’i community whose imprisonment was increased to 20 years for practicing their faith and hundreds of Sufis who have been flogged in public because of their beliefs."

Indeed. Back in February, a joint statement by six international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, condemned the widespread use of political executions in Iran, which frequently involve more than a passing religious dimension. The press release notes that "At least eight of those executed in January were political prisoners, convicted of 'enmity against God' (moharebeh) for participating in demonstrations, or for their alleged links to opposition groups."

Also, "The recent executions also raise fears for the lives of two men, Saeed Malekpour and Vahid Asghari, believed to have been sentenced to death by Revolutionary Courts following separate unfair trials in which they were accused of 'spreading corruption on earth.'"

And: "On January 26 authorities announced that Sayed Ali Gharabat had been executed for 'spreading corruption' and 'apostasy' in Karoun Prison, Ahvaz, after he, according to authorities, falsely claimed to have communicated with the Twelfth Imam. Twelver Shi’a Muslims believe that the Twelfth Imam is currently in hiding and will return to earth to bring about justice."

This specific charge, of "spreading corruption in the land", which is taken directly from Qur'an 5:33 (which also prescribes the penalty of crucifixion, amputation or banishment), is nothing new. Eliz Sanasarian notes in her landmark book Religious Minorities in Iran that the exact same phrase was used to justify the execution of the Jewish businessman Habib Elghanian by the Khomeini regime in 1979, as well as during the persecution of the Bahai's throughout that era.

The press release concludes with the following recommendations:

To put an end to this killing spree, other nations should demand that Iran immediately end these executions and respect its obligations under international law, Shirin Ebadi and the six human rights organizations said.

Iran has made consistent efforts to obstruct scrutiny of the situation in the country by international human rights mechanisms over the past five years. In light of that record, Shirin Ebadi and the organizations called on other nations to take advantage of the forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council to appoint a special envoy of the UN Secretary-General with a mandate to investigate and report on human rights conditions in Iran.

I certainly hope they oblige, but if the past record is anything to go by, we cannot trust the UNHRC to do anything other than ignore the genuine human rights abuses committed by Islamic regimes. In any case, these blatant acts of barbarity should be condemned by every individual in the free world - openly, noisily and insistently.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Spinning Muhammad (Part 2)

Last night saw the broadcast of the second part of Rageh Omaar's documentary series "The Life of Muhammad" (UK viewers can watch here). Due the fact that it dealt almost exclusively with Muhammad's relations with his non-Muslim neighbours, it was perhaps even more prone to apologetic presentation of Muhammad's deeds than was the first episode.

The thing that most stands out about this episode, as with the one before it, is the way that Muhammad is always presented as the victim. According to Omaar, none of the confrontations he got himself into with the Quraysh or the Jewish tribes of Medina were of his own making - they were always caused by his neighbours attacking him and rejecting his message for no apparent reason. Inconvenient facts such as the Prophet's political assassinations of Jewish leaders on the pretext that they insulted him never get a mention.

I also thought there was an extremely ironic and unintentionally revealing moment about half way into the programme when a segment with Robert Spencer, in which he mentions Muhammad's dictum "War is deceit" (Bukhari v.4, b.56, no.3030, and others), is immediately followed by Tariq Ramadan claiming that jihad is only defensive in nature, without mentioning the offensive variety of jihad mandated by Qur'an 9:29 and reiterated by Islamic scholars and jurists throughout the centuries - an omission that is obviously calculated, deliberate and, above all, deceitful. I doubt that Omaar realised the irony.

The show devotes a small amount of time near the end to the massacre of the Banu Qurayza, who are again presented as malicious fiends who sided with Muhammad's enemies. In fact, their only crime was to remain neutral in a war that had nothing to do with them. The Prophet's biographer Ibn Ishaq recounts how the leader of the Qurazya tried his best to refuse the Quraysh's offers, but after much "wheedling" eventually agreed to what was essentially a neutrality pact:

The enemy of God Huyayy b. Akhtab al-Nadri [of the Quraysh] went out to Ka'b b. Asad al-Qurazi [of the Qurayza] who had made a treaty with the apostle. When Ka'b heard of Huyayy's coming he shut the door of his fort in his face, and when he asked permission to enter he refused to see him, saying that he was a man of ill omen and that he himself was in a treaty with Muhammad and did not intend to go back on his word because he had always found him loyal and faithful. Then Huyayy accused him of shutting him out because he was unwilling to let him eat his corn. This so enraged him that he opened his door. He said, 'Good heavens, Ka'b, I have brought you immortal fame and a great army. I have come with Quraysh with their leaders and chiefs which I have halted where the torrent-beds of Ruma meet; and Ghatafan with their leaders and chiefs which I have halted in Dhanab Naqma towards Uhud. They have made a firm agreement and promised me that they will not depart until we have made an end of Muhammad and his men.' Ka'b said: 'By God, you have brought me immortal shame and an empty cloud which had shed its water while it thunders and lightens with nothing in it. Woe to you Huyayy leave me as I am, for I have always found him loyal and faithful.' Huyayy kept on wheedling Ka'b until at last he gave way in giving him a solemn promise that if Quraysh and Ghatafan returned without having killed Muhammad he would enter his fort with him and await his fate. (p.453)

Muhammad's punishment of the tribe, which involved beheading up to 900 men and taking their wives and children as prisoners, is notably described by Omaar as a "horrific act of brutality" - but he immediately qualifies this statement by adding that the incident must be viewed in light of its historical context.

Sorry, but that won't wash. First of all, such a horrible slaughter is completely unbefitting of a Prophet of God - and indeed, of the God Himself - at any time. Secondly, Muhammad is viewed by all Muslims as al-insan al-kamil: "the Perfect Man". The Qur'an describes him as an "excellent example" of conduct for Muslims to follow (33:21), and Muslims are encouraged to emulate everything he did. The implications in this case are obvious and disturbing. Thirdly, while the Banu Qurayza were not massacred "just because they were Jews", as such - as the programme takes particular care to point out - Muhammad's hostile relationship with the Jews of Medina did go on to become one of the primary foundations of Muslim hatred of Jews in the centuries following Muhammad's death. For example, the ninth-century Iraqi polymath al-Jahiz noted that one of the main reasons the Muslims of that time and place hated Jews more than they hated Christians was because:

The Jews were the neighbours of the Muslims in Medina and other places...When the [Muslim] Emigrants [from Mecca] became the neighbours of the Jews [in Medina]...the Jews began to envy the Muslims the blessings of their new faith, and the union which resulted after dissension. They proceeded to undermine the belief of our [i.e. the Muslim] masses, and to lead them astray. They aided our enemies and those envious of us. From mere misleading speech and stinging words they plunged into an open declaration of enmity, so that the Muslims mobilised their forces, exerting themselves morally and materially to banish the Jews and destroy them. Their strife became long-drawn and widespread, so that it worked itself up into a rage, and created yet greater animosity and more intensified rancor...

Al-Jahiz then identifies as the "most potent cause" of Islamic antisemitism, the following verse from the Qur'an: "Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans...” (5:82) This leads us on, finally, to the programme's general depiction of Islamic antisemitism, which is completely divested of its Qur'anic dimension, and attributed solely to the modern dispute over Jerusalem, which in time-honoured BBC fashion is referred to as "the third holiest city in Islam", without ever being referred to as THE holiest city in Judaism. The statement by a British Muslim propagandist that there was a "Jewish Golden Age" in Muslim Spain is also allowed to pass completely unchallenged, when in fact thousands of Jews were murdered in pogroms during this period in 1013 and 1066 AD.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Former EU Commissioner: "No Future For Jews In Holland"

Former European Union Commissioner Frits Bolkenstein said that Jews have no future in the Netherlands and recommended that they emigrate to the US or Israel, Dutch magazine Elsevier reported on Tuesday.

According to a book on Dutch Judaism, released this week, Bolkestein, former leader of the VVD party, said that due to antisemitism amongst young Moroccans (i.e Muslims) Jews who look like Jews - those who wear kippahs or payot - should leave Holland for their own safety.

The former politician added that the many Arab (i.e. Muslim) television channels in the Netherlands contribute to the spread of antisemitism. He said he has no confidence in proposed measures to combat anti-Jewish sentiment.

Geert Wilders, who visited Israel this week, responded that "Jews shouldn't emigrate, anti-Semitic Moroccans should."

Friday, 15 July 2011

It's All In The Numbers

It's very easy to give a misleading impression in the media. Most often, this is done not by altering or inventing the facts, but by simply omitting the ones that you don't want people to see.

Veteran smear-merchant Karl Vick does this in his blog post published at the TIME website yesterday. He titles the post "Poll Finds Palestinians Disenchanted with Hamas, Iran and the Peace Process". He goes on to describe a new face-to-face poll - conducted in Arabic - of 1,010 Palestinians just published by Bill Clinton's former pollster Stan Greenberg, providing, among others, the following findings of the study:

  • "Hamas, disapproved of by two of three, including in Gaza, where it has ruled since 2007"
  • "Iran, which 77 percent of Palestinians see negatively, an uptick in villainy likely attributable to its role in suppressing the Arab Spring uprising in neighboring Syria, if not the demands of its own people after stealing the last election."
  • "Most also oppose firing rockets into Israeli cities, and call the murder of a settler family in Itamar 'wrong.'"
  • "And by two to one, Palestinians favor ending Israel's 44-year military occupation through negotiations rather than by violent resistance."
Vick even describes as the "most striking finding" of the poll...the "Palestinians' focus on daily life".

Apparently not considered by Vick to be striking or even noteworthy findings are the following, pulled from a much more balanced summary of the survey at the Jerusalem Post, which he never even mentions:

Seventy-two percent backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage, and 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.

When given a quote from the Hamas Charter about the need for battalions from the Arab and Islamic world to defeat the Jews, 80% agreed. Seventy-three percent agreed with a quote from the charter (and a hadith, or tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees.

But if you only listen to Vick, the "most striking" thing about this study is the Palestinians' views on unemployment, followed closely by their "disapproval" of Hamas (but not, apparently, its hateful and pro-genocidal Charter) and that group's particular methods for obtaining the same desired outcome: the destruction of Israel. After all, the poll also revealed that while the majority of Palestinians disapprove of a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, a majority (66%) said that the "real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state."

Meaning there would be no more Israel - merely an Arab State governed by Muslims with Jews as dhimmi subjects.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Spinning Muhammad (Part 1)

This past Monday (11th July) saw the broadcast of the first episode in a three-part series for the BBC entitled "The Life of Muhammad". UK readers who missed it will be able to watch the first part in its entirety here.

As could be expected, the documentary, presented by Al Jazeera's Rageh Omaar, mostly shied away from any critical analysis of Muhammad's life and deeds, giving brief lip-service to some critical views, and giving far too much airtime to the woeful Karen Armstrong (although there were a couple of cameos from the exceptional Robert Spencer).

The programme contained many dubious claims and misrepresentations of the sources, and chief among these was the theme, peddled throughout the last 15 to 20 minutes, that Muhammad was "persecuted" by his Meccan tribe, the Quraysh, simply for preaching Islam peacefully.

But is this presentation really accurate?

Muhammad began publicly preaching Islam in Mecca in around 613 AD. For many years he faced frustration as his own tribe, the Quraysh, rejected and mocked him. He had a small band of followers who became Muslims, but most of the Meccans were quite happy to continue praying to their pagan goddesses. Although Muslims frequently assert that Muhammad and his men were persecuted by the Quraysh simply for being Muslims, the Prophet's earliest and most trusted biographer Ibn Ishaq writes that the Meccans only began to seriously oppose Muhammad after he started insulting their gods and attacking their heritage:

When the apostle openly displayed Islam as God ordered him, his people did not withdraw or turn against him, so far as I have heard, until he spoke disparagingly of their gods. When he did that, they took great offence and resolved unanimously to treat him as an enemy...he would not yield to them and withdrew from them and insulted their gods... (The Life of Muhammad, p.118)

One early Muslim narrator remarked:

“They [the Quraysh] said that they had never known anything like the trouble they had endured from this fellow; he had declared their mode of life foolish, insulted their forefathers, reviled their religion, divided the community, and cursed their gods. What they had borne was past all bearing, or words to that effect.” (pp.130-131)

The Quraysh tried on several occasions to negotiate an amicable resolution to the troubles:

“[Quraysh leader] Abu Sufyan and sundry other notables went to Abu Talib [Muhammad's uncle] and said: '...You know the trouble that exists between us and your nephew, so call him and let us make an agreement that he will leave us alone and we will leave him alone; let him have his religion and we will have ours.'” (pp.191-92)

Muhammad consistently declined a relationship of mutual respect, demanding that the Quraysh convert to Islam. (Ibid.)

Omaar claims in the show that the Muslims suffered appallingly at the hands of the Quraysh, suffering everything from torture with hot coals to death by stabbing. Where he gets this information from is something of a mystery, however. Indeed, the hadith record that the "worst thing" the Meccans ever did to Muhammad was as follows:

"While Allah's Apostle was praying in the courtyard of the ka'ba, 'Uqba bin Abi Mu'ait came and seized Allah's Apostle by the shoulder and twisted his garment round his neck and throttled him severely. Abu Bakr came and seized 'Uqba's shoulder and threw him away from Allah's Apostle and said, "Would you kill a man because he says: 'My Lord is Allah,' and has come to you with clear Signs from your Lord?" (Bukhari v.6, b.60, no.339)

An attempted throttling isn't exactly a friendly gesture, but it is far from the exaggerated tales that Rageh Omaar spins. Ibn Ishaq does record an incident in which a Muslim was mocked and dragged through the streets by his beard, but even so, the extent of the "persecution" the Muslims actually suffered is vastly overstated - especially in light of the fact that where tensions did arise between the Muslims and the Quraysh, they were primarily caused not by the mere existence of the Muslims, but by Muhammad's repeated insults towards his tribe's religion and traditions.

Disproving the claims of violent persecution and passive "martyrdom" on the Muslims' part is another story recorded by Ibn Ishaq. Some Muslims were praying when they were interrupted by a group of pagans, and the two groups began arguing. At this point, one of the Muslims struck a member of the Quraysh with a camel's jawbone, drawing blood. "This," says Ibn Ishaq, "was the first blood shed in Islam." (p.118) And it was shed by a Muslim.

According to the preview at the end of the episode, next week's installment of this series will deal with the massacre of the Banu Qurayza. I am fascinated to see how they approach this incident, since I can guarantee right now that under no circumstances will they simply present this as an evil, unjustifiable act that is unbefitting of a Prophet of God (people would die if they did that). However they choose to cover it, I'll examine their account, along with any other major discrepancies, at the same time here next week.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Heroes And Villains

Ihsanoglu & Wilders: Champions of two very different causes

The newly renamed Organisation of Islamic Cooperation - formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) - has once again shown which side of the freedom/totalitarianism divide it sits on. Last week, it issued the following statement about the recent acquittal of Geert Wilders at the end of his totalitarian hate speech trial in the Netherlands:

The OIC Secretary General [Ekmelledin Ihsanoglu] said that Mr. Wilders has taken upon himself a dangerous path of derailing inter civilizational harmony and peace by spreading and fanning hatred against Islam and Muslims in his own country as well as in other European countries.

Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that the vilification of Islam and the sacred image of the Prophet Muhammad by Wilders has reached a stage when it can no longer be tolerated under any pretext including the right to freedom of expression. He urged the Government or Netherlands to take necessary appropriate action to contain the campaign of hatred and incitement by Wilders who is a coalition partner of the Dutch Government. He expressed serious concern that the silence of the Dutch Government in this respect may undermine the existing good bilateral relations between the 0IC Member States and the Netherlands [i.e. he made an implicit threat. ~ Ed].

Now, Wilders has in response issued the following brilliant set of questions in writing directly to the Dutch Prime Minister:

Have you seen the intimidating statement of the OIC Secretary General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, about me and the OIC report “Fourth OIC observatory report on islamophobia” about statements made by various Dutch politicians?(*)

Do you agree that the OIC has vastly overstepped the boundaries with these intimidating statements and do you agree with me that a Dutch politician should have the right to criticise Islam and multiculturalism in a public debate, as was confirmed during my political trial by the court decision of June 23rd?

Are you prepared to explain to the OIC member countries that criticism of Islam and freedom of speech are essential in a democratic society under the rule of law? If not, why not?

Do you share the opinion that criticism, such as that of an organization like the OIC, is hypocrite and despicable given that the OIC in article 24 of its own Cairo Declaration on Human Rights explicitly states that all rights and freedoms are subject to Islamic Shari’ah law? If not, why not?

Are you prepared in the short term to distance yourself publicly in strong wordings of this report and of the intimidating statement of the OIC secretary general? If not, why not?

Will you make it clear once and for all to the OIC that the Netherlands will not accept to be lectured by an institution such as the OIC which makes human rights subject to the barbaric Shari’ah, and that we will not allow our fundamental freedoms and our freedom of speech to be restricted? If not, why not?

Are you prepared to answer these questions this week?

This man is a hero, plain and simple.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Cruising For A Bruising

At Slate today, Christopher Hitchens poses some questions for the organisers of the imminent follow-up to last year's "Freedom Flotilla", whose explicit purpose was to aid Israel's enemies by illegally breaking its perfectly legal blockade.

Specifically, Hitchens focuses on the flotilla's ties to Hamas, a fact which he does not document in any detail but is nevertheless a reality. For example:

Amin Abou Ibrahim, also known as Amin Abou Rashed, is one of the main organizers of the ”Freedom Flotilla 2″ and a founder of the ECESG, a central organization participating in the flotilla. Recently, the Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf cited Abou Rashed as the “brain behind the flotilla”...

Abou Rashed was an active participant in last year’s flotilla as well. His name also came up during the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation by the US government in 2007. The Holy Land Foundation is designated by the US Treasury as a Specially Designated National and banned by the EU for its direct financial and material support to Hamas. During the Holy Land Foundation trial, a letter was shown written by Abou Rashed to Akram Mishaal, a director of the Holy Land Foundation and a cousin of Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal.

In the letter found at Holy Land Foundation headquarters and used as a court case exhibit by the US government, Abou Rashed lists the names, addresses, and bank numbers of “charitable organizations working for Palestine in Europe.” Abou Rashed was writing as a representative of the Al-Aqsa Foundation, an organization designated by the US Department of Treasury as a charity financing terror and “a critical part of Hamas’ terrorist support infrastructure.”

These “charitable organizations” cited in Abou Rashed’s document were also later declared by the US Department of Treasury to be supporters of terrorist organizations, specifically Hamas, and consequently their assets were frozen.

Many Hamas affiliated organizations, as recognized by the US Treasury, were organizations in which Amin Abou Rashed was a very active participant in to say the least. Now, as leader of the current flotilla to Gaza, this raises deeper questions regarding the intentions of the flotilla organizers and their further connections to Hamas.

Let us hope that when "The Audacity of Hope" eventually reaches Gaza, the IDF send it and all of its miserable participants straight down to the seabed and to hell.