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Islam's Stranglehold on the Arab Spring
Islam's Stranglehold on the Arab Spring(Daily Times)
Islamists are capitalizing on the hard work of secularists and human rights advocates.
Renowned secularists and human rights campaigners; including Mina Ahadi, Nawal El Sadaawi, Marieme Helie Lucas, Hameeda Hussein, our own Ayesha Imam, Maryam Jamil, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasrin, Farida Shaheed, Fatou Sow, and Stasa Zajovic have signed a manifesto calling for a free and secular Middle East and North Africa.
This manifesto should be endorsed by all lovers of freedom, democracy and human rights around the world; because it captures the essence of the Arab Spring.
The manifesto clearly states that secularism is a minimum precondition for a free Middle East and for the recognition of women’s rights and equality. And definitely it is. Because religion, when mixed with politics, is often used to oppress women and to justify their exploitation or abuse . Religion has often been used to trump human rights.
This manifesto is a timely response to developments in the region, particularly to the threat of political Islam. There are concerns that the Arab Spring could be hijacked by parties with islamic agenda, and politicians who want to impose sharia law on the states.
There are clear indications that politicians in the region are campaigning and mobilising on the basis of Islam. They are playing the islamic religious political card to gain power. They have mistaken the secular wind of Arab Spring to an Islamic revolution. Many parties and politicians are seeking to win votes by promising to implement sharia law and enthrone islamic theocracy in furtherance of ‘the revolution’.
For instance, many secularists, feminists and human rights campaigners were shocked by the pronouncements of the leader of the National Transitional Council in Libya, Mustapha Abdul Jalil. Shortly after the death of Col Gaddaffi, Jalil declared that sharia would be the basic source of the laws in ‘Free Libya’. That all laws that were not consistent with the teachings of Islam would be repealed. He voided the law against polygamy and lifted restrictions imposed by the Gaddaffi regime on the number of women that men could marry.
In Tunisia, where it all started, the country’s main Islamic party has emerged victorious in the Arab Spring’s first elections, taking 90 of 217 seats in the new assembly. There are fears that this party could use its position to roll back the gains the country had made in steering the state away from religion and in protecting the rights of women. The party leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, has pledged that the rights of every Tunisian would be protected by the new authorities.
“We will continue this revolution to realise its aims of a Tunisia that is free, independent, developing and prosperous; in which the rights of God, the Prophet, women, men, the religious and the non-religious are assured because Tunisia is for everyone,” he was quoted to have recently told party supporters at a press conference.
Personally I tried to understand what he meant by the ‘rights of God’. Afterall, God is not a human being. Or the rights of ‘the Prophet’ - obviously referring to Mohammad. And Mohammad died centuries ago.
Anyway, that is a clear sign of the enormous influence religion, particularly Islam, wields in the country’s politics. That is a clear sign of the struggles ahead of all lovers of freedom, democracy and human rights in the region in the years ahead.
Also in Egypt, the islamist party is expected to emerge victorious whenever the country holds elections. The party of the influential Islamist group- the Muslim Brotherhood- the Freedom and Justice Party- is the party to beat in the parliamentary elections coming up soon.
Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, the spectre of political Islam and its opposition to universal human rights and progressive values is haunting and threating to undo the Arab Spring.
Hence the need for this manifesto. Secularists and human rights campaigners are calling for –
"The Western understanding of human rights is against that which is sacred to us"
Shaykh of al-Azhar:
"The Western understanding of human rights is against that which is sacred to us"
by Translating Jihad
The Shaykh of al-Azhar, the Grand Imam Dr. Ahmad al-Tayib, by many considered to be the foremost authority in Sunni Islam, issued a statement yesterday condemning attempts to bring Western notions of human rights and freedom to the Middle East. Dr. al-Tayib explained that "the Western understanding of human rights is against that which is sacred to us," and that "opening the door for human rights from a purely Western understanding would destroy our homes and clash with our beliefs."
Of course, if one of us infidels says that Islam is incompatible with the Western understanding of human rights, we're quickly branded Islamophobes. But here you have the Grand Imam of al-Azhar saying essentially the same thing. So I guess either he's just a big Islamophobe himself, or Islam really does conflict with human rights. My bet's on the latter...
Translated from ikhwanonline.com, 17 October 2011:
By Usama 'Abd-al-Salam
The Grand Imam Dr. Ahmad al-Tayib, the Shaykh of al-Azhar, stressed that opening the door for human rights from a purely Western understanding would destroy our homes and clash with our beliefs and with that which is sacred to us. He relates this to the maxim, "He built a palace and destroyed an Egypt," saying, "Not everything which is a right for the Western man is a right for the Arab or Muslim man."
The Shaykh of al-Azhar called for the encouragement of all efforts to resist globalization, because it is crystal clear that America is currently suffering in every place and in every realm. This confirms that the culture of New York should not direct us in the East. We have a culture, values, and history which protect us from dissipating and melting away.
[...] (Goes on to talk about situation in Yemen)
The Grand Imam called for the protection of Arab and Islamic civilization, which is based on morals and religious values. He added that the civilization of the Ummah is led by faith and values, contrary to Western civilization, which is led by the interests of personal freedom. We need to breathe new life into the East, in every meaning of the word--in culture, economics, society, and so on. This will not happen except through hard, continuous, and independent work.
Al Aqsa official: Jewish temples existed
Al Aqsa official: Jewish temples existed
Says proof passed down over the centuries by mosque custodians
By Aaron Klein
June 14, 2006
JERUSALEM – Contradicting most of his colleagues, a former senior leader of the Waqf, the Islamic custodians of the Temple Mount, told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview he has come to believe the first and second Jewish Temples existed and stood at the current location of the Al Aqsa Mosque.
The leader, who was dismissed from his Waqf position after he quietly made his beliefs known, said Al Aqsa custodians passed down stories for centuries from generation to generation indicating the mosque was built at the site of the former Jewish temples.
He said the Muslim world's widespread denial of the existence of the Jewish temples is political in nature and is not rooted in facts.
"Prophet Solomon built his famous Temple at the same place that later the Al Aqsa Mosque was built. It cannot be a coincidence that these different holy sites were built at the same place. The Jewish Temple Mount existed," said the former senior Waqf leader, speaking to WorldNetDaily from an apartment in an obscure alley in Jerusalem's Old City.
The former leader, who is well known to Al Aqsa scholars and Waqf officials, spoke on condition his name be withheld, claiming an on-the-record interview would endanger his life.
While the Islamic leader's statements may seem elementary to many in the West, especially in light of overwhelming archaeological evidence documenting the history of the Jewish temples and description of services there in the Torah, his words break with mainstream thinking in much of the Muslim world, which believes the Jewish temples never existed.
"I am mentioning historical facts," said the former leader. "I know that the traditional denial about the temple existing at the same place as Al Aqsa is more a political denial. Unfortunately our religious and political leaders chose the option of denial to fight the Jewish position and demands regarding Al Aqsa and taking back the Temple Mount compound. In my opinion we should admit the truth and abandon our traditional position."
The leader said his conclusion that the Jewish temples existed does not forfeit what he calls "Islamic rights" to the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa Mosque.
"Yes, the temple existed. But now it is the place of the mosque of the religious who came to complete the divine religion [that started with Judaism] and to improve humanity," said the leader.
"We believe that Islam is the third and last religion. It came to complete the monotheistic message. The mosque is here at the place of the temple to serve for the same purpose, for the work of Allah."
Al Aqsa Mosque built by angels?
The First Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.
The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's "presence" dwelt.
The temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.
The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.
The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed in about 709 to serve as a shrine near another nearby shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark what Muslims came to believe may have been the place at which Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven during a dream to receive revelations from Allah.
Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Mohammed took a journey in a single night from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with Jerusalem.
Muslims worldwide deny the Jewish temples ever existed in spite of what many call overwhelming archaeological evidence, including the discovery of Temple-era artifacts linked to worship, tunnels that snake under the Temple Mount and over 100 ritual immersion pools believed to have been used by Jewish priests to cleanse themselves before services. The cleansing process is detailed in the Torah.
According to the website of the Palestinian Authority's Office for Religious Affairs, the Temple Mount is Muslim property. The site claims the Western Wall, which it refers to as the Al-Boraq Wall, previously was a docking station for horses. It states Muhammed tied his horse, named Boraq, to the wall before ascending to heaven.
In a previous interview with WorldNetDaily, Kamal Hatib, vice-chairman of the Islamic Movement, claimed the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built by angels and that a Jewish Temple may have existed but not in Jerusalem. The Movement, which works closely with the Waqf, is the Muslim group in Israel most identified with the Temple Mount.
"When the First Temple was built by Solomon – God bless him – Al Aqsa was already built. We don't believe that a prophet like Solomon would have built the Temple at a place where a mosque existed," said Hatib.
"And all the historical and archaeological facts deny any relation between the temples and the location of Al Aqsa. We must know that Jerusalem was occupied and that people left many things, coins and other things everywhere. This does not mean in any way that there is a link between the people who left these things and the place where these things were left," Hatib said.
'True' Islamic tradition affirms temples
But the former senior Wafq leader told WND "true" Islamic tradition relates the Jewish temples once stood at the site of the Al Aqsa Mosque. He said Al Aqsa custodians passed down history over the centuries indicating the mosque was built at the site of the former Jewish temples.
"[The existence of the Jewish Temple at the site is obvious] according to studies, researches and archaeological signs that we were also exposed to. But especially according to the history that passed from one generation to another – we believe Al Aqsa was built on the same place were the Temple of the Jews – the first monotheistic religion – existed."
He cited samples of some stories he said were related orally by Islamic leaders:
"We learned that the Christians, especially those who believed that Jesus was crucified by the Jews, used to throw their garbage at the Temple Mount site. They used to throw the pieces of cotton and other material Christian women used in cleaning the blood of their monthly cycle. Doing so they believed that they were humiliating, insulting and harming the Jews at their holiest site. This way they are hurting them like Jews hurt Christians when crucifying Jesus.
"It is known also that most of the first guards of Al Aqsa when it was built were Jews. The Muslims knew at that time that they could not find any more loyal and faithful than the Jews to guard the mosque and its compound. They knew that the Jews have a special relation with this place."
Temple Mount: No-prayer zone
Currently, even though the Jewish state controls Jerusalem, the Waqf serve as the custodians of the Temple Mount under a deal made with the Israeli government that restricts non-Muslim prayer at the site.
The Temple Mount was opened to the general public until September 2000, when the Palestinians started their intifada by throwing stones at Jewish worshipers after then-candidate for prime minister Ariel Sharon visited the area.
Following the onset of violence, the new Sharon government closed the Mount to non-Muslims, using checkpoints to control all pedestrian traffic for fear of further clashes with the Palestinians.
The Temple Mount was reopened to non-Muslims in August 2003. It still is open but only Sundays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim holidays or other days considered "sensitive" by the Waqf.
During "open" days, Jews and Christian are allowed to ascend the Mount, usually through organized tours and only if they conform first to a strict set of guidelines, which includes demands that they not pray or bring any "holy objects" to the site. Visitors are banned from entering any of the mosques without direct Waqf permission. Rules are enforced by Waqf agents, who watch tours closely and alert nearby Israeli police to any breaking of their guidelines.
The former senior Waqf leader said the Jewish temples have lost their purpose:
"As we are the religion who are here to correct everything that was before us there is no need for the Temple. Allah chose Islam as its final and favorite religion."
The Worldwide Rise of Islamic Anti-Semitism
The Worldwide Rise of Islamic Anti-Semitism
Even if Israel were destroyed, their Jew-hatred would not be assuaged.
August 8, 2012
“Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom.” So said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to an audience of ambassadors from Muslim countries last Thursday. The ambassadors had convened in Tehran for Quds Day — Jerusalem Day — an annual airing of Islamic supremacist Jew-hatred and Zionist conspiracy-mongering begun by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.
The world has grown used to the spectacle of a head of government, Ahmadinejad, calling for the destruction of a nation-state that poses no threat to his regime — after all, he has done it so many times before. But Islamic anti-Semitism is also on the rise around the world. Indeed, so many Muslim leaders around the world so routinely call for the destruction of Israel and a new genocide of the Jews (which would almost certainly go hand-in-hand with that destruction, if it ever actually came about), that such calls are becoming as dull with familiarity as Ahmadinejad’s repeated predictions of Israel’s imminent demise.
Last June, a Pakistani Muslim cleric named Pirzada Muhammad Raza Saqib Mustafai said the following in a YouTube video titled “Jews Are the Real Enemy of Islam and Peace”: “And all the troubles that exist around the world are because of the Jews. When the Jews are wiped out, then the world would be purified and the sun of peace would begin to rise on the entire world.”
Such clerics are not obscure eccentrics enunciating a twisted, hijacked version of Islam. In January 2009, the most popular Islamic preacher in the world, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, said on al-Jazeera: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers….”
Qaradawi continued: “I’d like to say that the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom.”
This hatred increasingly plays out in attacks on individuals. A few weeks ago, Shasta Khan, a Muslim woman in Britain, received an eight-year prison sentence for her role in plots to target Jews in bomb attacks. During her trial, she stated that her husband had forced her to drive through Jewish areas looking for likely targets. Last week, police in India indicted a Muslim journalist, Syed Mohammad Kazmi, for his role in the bombing of an Israeli diplomat’s car. Also last week, when the Lebanese Olympic judo team discovered that it was training in sight of the Israeli team, it demanded that a barrier be constructed so that they could not see the Jews; the International Olympic Committee complied. Several days ago in the German town of Stein, a Muslim sprayed two women with tear gas because one of them was wearing a Star of David. And last week in Santa Monica, California, the trial began of Tehmina Adaya, the Muslim owner of the Shangri-La resort hotel. Adaya is charged with discrimination against Jewish hotel guests: she allegedly told hotel staff to “Get the [expletive deleted] Jews out of my pool.”
During a July sermon in the Grand Mosque of Srinigar, the Kashmiri Muslim separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq declared: “Muslims all over the world have a problem with Israel due to its aggressive policy towards Palestine.” But even if all the charges against Israel that the Palestinian propaganda machine churns out were true, this would not by any rational standard justify the Muslim attacks on Jews worldwide, or the apocalyptic genocide dreams of Mustafai, Qaradawi, and others like them.
The origin of that hatred lies deeper, within the Islamic religion itself. The Qur’an contains a great deal of material that forms the foundation for a hatred of Jews, portraying them as the craftiest, most persistent, and most implacable enemies of the Muslims – indeed, they are the “the most hostile of men to the believers” (5:82). In 2004 the popular Muslim website Islam Online posted an article titled “Jews as Depicted in the Qur’an,” in which Sheikh ‘Atiyyah Saqr, the former head of the Fatwa Committee at the most respected institution in Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, depicts Jews in a chillingly negative light, illustrated with abundant quotations from the Qur’an. Among other charges he levels at the Jews, Saqr says that they “used to fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah”; they “love to listen to lies”; they disobey Allah and ignore his commands; they wish “evil for people” and try to “mislead them”; and they “feel pain to see others in happiness and are gleeful when others are afflicted with a calamity.” He adds that “it is easy for them to slay people and kill innocents,” for “they are merciless and heartless.” And each charge he follows with Qur’anic citations.
It is this hatred that lies at the root of the hatred of Israel and of Jews manifested today by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and so many others. Even if Israel were destroyed, their Jew-hatred would not be assuaged, for it is based on Islamic teachings about the nature of the world itself, not on the vagaries of geopolitics. And that is how it must be confronted: until the international human rights community confronts Islamic anti-Semitism as a phenomenon, ever more innocent people will be victimized around the world. But perhaps that community is too consumed with studying the chimerical phenomenon of “Islamophobia” to divert much attention elsewhere.
Human Rights under Islam
Human Rights under Islam
Sheikh Bakri affirms here that Muslims and non-Muslims are not equal, due to the dictates of Allah
Click to view video>http://www.mrctv.org/videos/dr-wafa-sultan-exposes-islamic-values-sheikh-omar-bakri-muhammad
Omar Bakri: The shari’a has defined human rights for Muslims and for non-Muslims. The non-Muslim has chosen to not accept the judgments of Allah. Therefore, yes, his rights differ from those of a Muslim. I say that they are not equal. The other party might disagree with me, that’s fine. That’s her opinion. But Islam gave rights to man, in order to satisfy his needs and take care of his affairs. Muslims and non-Muslims who have previously made a peace treaty or a dhimmi pact, are equal when it comes to citizenship. In other words, they are the same. The Islamic state and the Islamic shari’a, when governed thereby, guarantee their political needs, such as shelter, food, clothing, security, education, and health care, for they are under the care of the Islamic state. However, this equality does not mean that you are exactly like us. Yes, a non-Muslim under the Islamic shari’a cannot have any rights except those which Allah has legislated for him. Allah has legislated that he may have his belief, religion, clothes, and everything which is needed by all citizens, Muslim or non-Muslim. Now the Muslim has greater rights and respect because he is Muslim, for Islam is above others, and never below, so the Muslim is above others, and never below. [...]
Omar Bakri: I don’t believe in the equality of man, because men are not equal in the view of Allah. He commanded us to not make them equal. For example, I have the right to marry a Christian or Jewish girl, but it is not permissible for a Jewish man to marry a Muslim girl. This is correct. I am not calling for equality. When I go to Britain or Europe, I have the same right--my blood and property are inviolable. In exchange, their blood and property are also inviolable through this peace treaty. Their blood and property have no protection except through a peace treaty or a dhimmi pact. Thus Allah has commanded--you can either accept it or reject it.Omar Bakri: The shari’a has defined human rights for Muslims and for non-Muslims. The non-Muslim has chosen to not accept the judgments of Allah. Therefore, yes, his rights differ from those of a Muslim. I say that they are not equal. The other party might disagree with me, that’s fine. That’s her opinion. But Islam gave rights to man, in order to satisfy his needs and take care of his affairs. Muslims and non-Muslims who have previously made a peace treaty or a dhimmi pact, are equal when it comes to citizenship. In other words, they are the same. The Islamic state and the Islamic shari’a, when governed thereby, guarantee their political needs, such as shelter, food, clothing, security, education, and health care, for they are under the care of the Islamic state. However, this equality does not mean that you are exactly like us. Yes, a non-Muslim under the Islamic shari’a cannot have any rights except those which Allah has legislated for him. Allah has legislated that he may have his belief, religion, clothes, and everything which is needed by all citizens, Muslim or non-Muslim. Now the Muslim has greater rights and respect because he is Muslim, for Islam is above others, and never below, so the Muslim is above others, and never below. [...]
Strategies of Denial Revisited (Part I)
Strategies of Denial Revisited (Part I)
BY HUGH FITZGERALD
JUNE 25, 2015
boat from Africa to EuropeSix years ago I delivered a talk I titled “Strategies of Denial.” As it did not appear at Jihad Watch but at another site, New English Review, many who come here may not have seen it. And since what I noted at that time does not date, I am taking the liberty of reprinting it here, in segments, with some updated comments interpolated throughout. There is really nothing new to say about Islam; it demands of commentators that they keep repeating themselves, in slightly different words, to put into context each new manifestation of Islamic behavior, whether it be an attack on Infidels, or something less dramatic. There are new attacks, new outrages, but there are no new explanations of Muslim behavior. Each new attack bears mentioning, and each new attempt to explain it away as “un-Islamic” deserves comment, but the generalizing about the subject — the overview — does not need revision, merely constant repetition and, where appropriate, new application.
My reason for breaking up the piece is simple: the new material throughout; I have expanded on what was given in a somewhat lapidary fashion, appealing more to our common experience of what is happening all over the West today. And I would like it not to overwhelm or burden the readers at this website, but to be read.
Now let’s go to the original introduction to “Strategies of Denial”:
Strategies of Denial –the title is ambiguous. Possibly deliberately. What might it mean? It might refer to Muslims, and to all the ways that adherents of Islam, “slaves of Allah,” especially those living in the West, have managed so successfully to distract or confuse or intimidate, morally or intellectually or physically, so many non-Muslims, managed to keep those non-Muslims from finding out too much about what Islam inculcates, and to achieve this despite the fact that the Islamic texts — Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira – are easily accessible, no more than a mouse-click away, and their meaning discussed at thousands of Muslim websites. And though not always a mouse-click away, there is the long record of Islamic imperialism, of the conquest through violence and the subsequent subjugation, also through violence and the threat of violence, of non-Muslims, which had always been known throughout the Western world, discussed by its outstanding figures (see John Quincy Adams, see Tocqueville, see Winston Churchill), and noted as a matter of course by Western travelers to Muslim lands, whose own experiences revealed the clear hostility of Muslims toward them (and toward all non-Muslims). When the great mass of Christians in earlier centuries thought about Muslims at all, they never doubted that those who had studied Islam and those who had encountered Muslims must surely be right: Islam was a ferocious and fanatical faith – for “faith” and not “religion” was the word used until the past century. It was American writers of books for children who first began to use that leveling phrase about “the world’s great religions,” and not until recent decades that the soothingly misleading phrase about “the three abrahamic faiths” began to be used. Never before in the history of the Western world would such a phrase have been invoked, never before would it have been taken seriously or used to convince non-Muslims that there was some kind of shared faith and shared traditions which bound Christians (and Jews) to Muslims. People once understood, even if they could not site sura and ayat, the Muslim injunction to “take not Christians and Jews as friends, for they are friends only with each other.” And even if Sura 9 and a hundred other Jihad verses in the Qur’an had not been read, and the hundreds or thousands of malevolent anti-Infidel hadiths were unknown, inhabitants of the Western world – the chief obstacle to the spread of Islam for a thousand years – did grasp, in the main, the nature of Islam.
But in the last few decades, the very decades in which the political and media elites of Europe have permitted millions of Muslim migrants, in an act of civilisational heedlessness and historical amnesia, to settle within their lands, those same elites failed to reconsider their earlier presumptions and negligence, failed to meet their solemn responsibility to study the texts and tenets of Islam, and their observable effect over 1350 years, from Spain to the East Indies, on the behavior of Muslims. They have instead avoided such study, and still worse, have attacked those who have engaged in such study and, armed with the knowledge of the meaning, and therefore the menace, of Islam, have begun to sound all kinds of tocsins.
It’s an amazing feat, really: the ability of millions of Muslims to settle within the non-Muslim lands, what in Islam is called Dar al-Harb, the House or Domain of War, where the writ of Islam does not yet run, and Muslims do not yet rule, and yet those Muslims have been able to prevent, to stave off, to deflect, any serious and widespread study of Islam, and hence to prevent the understanding of the threat that a large Muslim population unavoidably presents (for a handful of apostates, and a slightly-larger handful of those who become “cultural” Muslims or “Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only” Muslims, do not relieve us from worrying about the 90% or more of Muslims who remain True Believers and Defenders of the Faith).
And as of now — late June 2015 — the movement of Muslims into Europe has reached flood tide. They come from North Africa, but not all of North Africa. Their main point of departure is Libya, where the overthrow of Qaddafi meant that no one despot could control the flow of population, as he was willing to do for the right payment, as from the Italian government under Berlusconi. Even if a Western power wanted to pay someone today to prevent Arab and sub-Saharan Africans from leaving in those boats that head toward Lampedusa (the Italian island where these boats often are taken, or the smugglers easily arrange to have then taken — deliberate sinking or half-sinking of vessels by the smugglers is a common tactic) who, exactly, would he pay? No one controls the coast of Libya anymore; at best, some militias might control in Benghazi, or in Misrata, but even they are so fractured, their leaders so changeable, the ability to make sure that a deal that is struck kept so difficult, that Libyan immigration cannot be stopped unless the boats themselves are destroyed, as has been suggested should be done, but for reasons one cannot fathom, this elementary measure of self-defense has not yet been taken.
And then there is the Syrian, Iraqi, Afghani, Pakistani migration. All of these nationalities, by all reports, are jumbled together, but all of them — all of those Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Syrians, being Muslims, bear Islam in their mental baggage. And these arrive not from the South, but from the East. All kinds of Muslims find that Turkey is a place to regroup, and then to be smuggled through Anatolia to Bulgaria by land, or to Greece by sea. And thence they continue on, because it is not so much “Europe” that they seek, but those countries within Europe that offer the most benefits. Who wants to stay in Greece when he can be in Sweden?
It is amazing that this clear choice of destination, based on the amount of free health care, free education, free everything that is made available, is not discussed more. Instead, if you listen to NPR or the BBC, you hear endlessly about “immigrants” who are “seeking a better life.” That last phrase is so appealing, and it evokes in others, the descendants of other kinds of immigrants, warm feelings of sympathy. Or if not real sympathy, then at least a feeling that “who am I to deny someone else the right to do what my grandparents or great-grandparents did?” A moment’s thought might have prevented that easy identification. The better life that earlier immigrants sought, remember, was the life in countries that offered no benefits at all to compare with what is now on offer. Why be sentimental about people who “seek a better life” if what that really means is that they seek better benefits?
And the countries they choose to go to demonstrate this truth. They are not satisfied, when being processed in Lampedusa, to remain in Italy, where the benefits are low. Or if they come on the eastern route, no one really wants to remain in Bulgaria or Greece, unless absolutely necessary. The goal is always the same: it’s the United Kingdom, it’s Germany, it’s France, it’s above all the Scandinavian countries. That is the “better life” being sought. While obvious to you and to me, it is not obvious, apparently, to any of the announcers on NPR and the BBC, who almost never discuss the careful choice, by these immigrants, of destinations based on these benefits. Why? Because that would spoil the story that these immigrants are just like those of the old days. But they are not. They are not “seeking a better life” based on their own work, but are going to lands known for their bountiful welfare, where you may not have to work at all. It’s an incredible confusion of immigrations old and new. I have watched on television illiterate and seemingly ill-informed migrants telling the interviewer all about the benefits he knows exist, and in which countries they are to be found.
And there is one more thing. The NPR or BBC reporters always call them “immigrants,” but never “Muslim immigrants,” even though that adjective is a key to understanding the future behavior and permanent attitudes of those immigrants toward those into whose lands they have been, or will be, permitted to settle. Why is this? Don’t listeners deserve to know what kind of immigrants are flowing into their countries, as they try to decide what it all means, and what immigration policies they would support? The vague phrase “immigrants” should be replaced by “Muslim immigrants,” but that would be disallowed by the radio and television censors, or at least has been until now. Perhaps it will change as it becomes so much more obvious: these are Muslim immigrants, not immigrants of all kinds, from everywhere.
Strategies of Denial Revisited (Part II)
Strategies of Denial Revisited (Part II)
BY HUGH FITZGERALD
JUNE 27, 2015
Religious leaders call for the peace in the middle eastOne of the ways, paradoxically, to deny or minimize the threat of Islam is to focus only on the Qur’an, and then on selective quotation from the handful of verses that appear to reassure, not threaten. There is 2.256 (“no compulsion in religion”) and 5.32 (an injunction against murder) without the considerable modifying of that verse by 5.33 (with all its many exceptions to the injunction). And the Qur’an, while dangerous, may not be the most dangerous text in Islam. It is the Sunnah, consisting of both the Hadith and the Sira — the record of what the earliest Muslims did in Araby, with its hero Muhammad, that may be just as dangerous. For it is the Sunnah that creates the figure of Muhammad.
The stories of what Muhammad said and did, as set down in the Hadith (Traditions), and in his biography, the Sira, offer the view of the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil), the Model of Conduct (uswa hasana), and one that most of us find quite different from that of Jesus or Buddha. In Islam, the true object of worship is Islam itself, and the central figure of Islam is not Allah, but Muhammad. The morality of Islam is the morality of Muhammad. And that is to be found in the Sunnah, which for many Muslims is at least as important, and in some cases appears to be more important for the regulation of daily life, than the Qur’an itself.
When someone like Mustafa Akyol, young Turkish “reformer,” calls for “sola scriptura,” he means: forget the Sunnah and stick to the Qur’an, just as the Protestants did with the Bible, pruned of all excrescences. Akyol surely has recognized the greater dangers arising from the Sunnah. There are two problems with his prescription: first, it is unlikely that more than a handful of Muslims will agree to ignore the Sunnah; second, the Qur’an itself serves as a manual of war, so ignoring the Sunnah isn’t enough. But still, one Western means of denial is to act as if only the Qur’an exists, and we need not worry about the ways that devout Muslims attempt to follow the Sunnah, and the Example of Muhammad, to the letter. Yet Islamic websites are full of discussions of fine points of how to conduct the most minute aspects of everyday life, following Muhammad; reading them can give one a glimpse into the habit of total submission that characterizes Islam as a Total System. Part of the “strategy of denial” by Muslims when confronted with, for example, accusations over the murder of blasphemers, is to refer only to the Qur’an (“that’s not in the Qur’an” is a common defense by Muslims, and not always untrue); what’s in the Sunnah goes unmentioned.
The importance of the Sunnah has been noted, at this website, and in books and articles of all kinds. But that understanding has not reached the Pentagon, the State Department, Congress, or the White House, to judge by public statements, where the willful ignorance, or even celebration of Islam continues to subsist, despite all the contrary evidence, sometimes by ignoring the texts, and sometimes by mentioning only the Qur’an, and limiting quotation of that book to the usual handful of benign-sounding passages: 2.256, 5.32 without 5.33.
When I left off the other day, I had started by noting that Islamic texts were available for Western inspection and study, and not only to scholars, but to anyone who could attain the same intellectual level of of more than a billion believers. Yet that inspection and study of the texts have not taken place as one would have hoped, among the political class in the West, and among journalists, whatever their political orientation. And one wonders why. Is it truly a question of not having the time? Or, possibly, of the busy politician having assigned the task to “find out about Islam” to staff members and aides, who are young, and therefore not used to reading at length, but rather used to composing executive summaries with bullet points? These staffers will find Islamic texts especially forbidding because of both the subject matter and all those strange words (how do you keep straight “isnad chain” and Sahih Bukhari and uswa hasana and fiqh?) that converts find so appealing, but that non-Muslims find merely confusing, like those long names in Russian novels.
There is no excuse, when such works as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and others aimed at a mass audience, that lucidly set out Islamic doctrine in a way that anyone can understand, are readily available. And how hard is it to keep in mind the basic minimum: that the Qur’an is uncreated and immutable, so those who think it can be changed to create a “moderate Islam” are whistling in the dark; and that the Qur’an is full of Jihad verses that inculcate hatred and violence toward non-Muslims? It is fortunate that so many Muslims ignore those verses, but the verses yet remain, active for some, dormant for others, with non-Muslims unable to guess who will take the violence and hatred to heart, and who, for now and in the future, will not. People in power have shown they are not eager to study the texts, prefer to ignore them, and instead to substitute their own experience, of charming Muslims whom they have met, which now include colleagues and neighbors, and of course the Arab diplomats in Washington still offering lavish meals and largesse. This goes a long way to camouflaging the truth, diverting eyes from the texts.
When we learn, for example, that Muslims are taught to regard Muhammad as the Perfect Man, shouldn’t we want to find out what he did, or had done, to such of his critics as Ka’b bin Ashraf or Asma bint Marwan? What makes him perfect in Muslim eyes? Then we realize that he is simply a priori perfect, and everything he does constitutes Muslim morality, to be emulated, without any independent consideration of its morality outside of Islam, which is a closed system.
When others in the anti-Islamic brigade straightforwardly quote from the Hadiths to explain current examples of Muslim punishment (and not only by the Islamic State) of blasphemy, why are they ignored, or belittled, when it is they who have the texts on their side? The morality of Islam is the moral code of Muhammad, as revealed mainly in the Hadith. So one strategy of denial by Muslims is to keep referring to the Qur’an alone, when talking to non-Muslims. Non-Muslim unwillingness to consider in detail the contents of the Hadith may be a sign of simple over-business, or of a fear of what they, the non-Muslims, will discover and be forced to recognize. Is there no time for Obama or Kerry or Senators to familiarize themselves with these texts through such cogent presentations as those by Spencer, and not just in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)? It’s remarkable how many people still refuse to read about Islam. The testimonies of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish, Ibn Warraq are never bestsellers; only the first has become widely known. The formidable academic studies by Bat Ye’or sell in the thousands, and for a time have been out of print; they do not appear on college syllabi. The public has spoken: it does not want to learn too much about Islam, the major geopolitical subject of the age. This reinforces the denial offered by Muslims. How many of us can stand to hear the full bleak truth about anything? Many are happy to stop up their ears.
But could this determined ignorance, this eagerness not to find out, reflect something else as well? To return to those young Congressional staff members, could it be that with their bullet points and executive summaries to prepare, they just don’t want to rock any boats, don’t want to alarm others in the office or, even worse, offend the boss by making him aware of troubling information, or possibly even embarrassing him with evidence of his own past ignorance? Imagine a Representative who for years now has been making statements about the wonderful Muslim addition to our national fabric. A Senator Leahy type. He might have made those remarks offhandedly, without knowing much, not really caring. But now what happens when a young person on his staff studies up, and finds out how wrong his boss has been? Would he dare to tell him that the textual evidence shows he’s been wrong all along? There are certainly Senators and Congressmen willing to admit error, but I haven’t seen a large-scale shift, publicly expressed, by those who, late in the day, may just now be willing to speak truthfully about Islam. And would you risk his ire if you are “anti-Islam” too early? Look at the American Conservative Union, or the Democratic Party. How many candidates have refused to say anything negative about Islam for so long? That’s changing, of course, in the Republican party primary, as the evidence mounts. Cruz and Jindal are truth-tellers. But how damnable that it has taken so long.
And here is another thought. What if, in that Congressional office, there were a handful of Muslims. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the presence of even one Muslim can inhibit the discussion at the meeting of a history faculty, or of Congressional staff members, or even among the members of a law firm. Imagine, for example, that you work for a Congressman who, possibly because of the district he represents, now employs some Muslims in his office. They are personable. You are human, you don’t want word to get out that you are that nasty exception who thinks that “there is a problem with Islam,” which means you are willing to offend Muslims. That may spur retaliation or bad feeling. So your voice, like the voices of others, is muted, for people don’t want to talk or say something that could possibly be misinterpreted as endorsing a “hater” such as Spencer, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-American who, like so many apostates from Islam, can be dismissed as someone who is “just like an ex-Catholic, so bitter” — a ridiculous description, but one that some will find plausible, as if all apostates were equally resentful. As if Hirsi Ali were some East African version of Madelyn Murray O’Hair.
Not everyone works in an office or in a firm or in a faculty department with Muslims, and many are able to speak their mind. But good manners prevail; fear of being misinterpreted — the word “racist” is so often flung about — keeps in place the non-Muslim denial of reality. I would have thought everyone in America would be studying Islam by now. It turns out very few are; this site is not representative, but remains one of the outposts. How many at home engage in this study? Not even one out of 380 million. Those who are eager to research the latest toaster, computer program, Smartphone, will not visit sites about Islam. They just want to keep denying, to themselves, what is staring them in the face. The analyses offered by scholars, especially those writing before 1970, or reports by travellers to Muslim lands, or by the statesmen (Tocqueville, John Quincy Adams) who interested themselves in the question of Islam, the testimony by ex-Muslims — it’s all at exceptional sites such as this, and those who visit it may not realize how many others spend their time finding reasons not to believe in the malevolence and threat of Islam. This didn’t happen with Communism; it’s the idea of Islam as a “faith” that constitutes Islam’s first line of defense — see Bishop McManus, so solicitous of maintaining good relations with Muslim neighbors — and if Islam can be attacked, won’t other faiths suffer as well? That’s why the Interfaith Healing Racket goes on; the defenders of Islam are ludicrous but undiminished. Many ministers and priests and rabbis think they have a stake in defending Islam.
That so many have allowed themselves to be so willfully incurious, so reluctant to find out about what Islam inculcates, and about the attitudes and behavior that Muslims exhibit that are not the result of “extremism” – a word never defined – but rather of orthodox, mainstream teachings of Islam based on texts that anyone can read, is humanly understandable. The Muslim migrants who have been allowed to settle deep behind what they themselves are taught to regard as enemy lines, now living in Infidel lands, surrounded by Infidels, are unafraid to keep making — more in Europe than in the U.S. — aggressive demands for changes in the social arrangements and understandings, and in the legal and political institutions, of the Infidel nation-states in which they live, the very nation-states that have so innocently welcomed them and lavished upon them every benefit that generous welfare states (those benefits paid for, almost entirely, by non-Muslim taxpayers) provide. Think just of France, and the demand that the laic state permit hijabs and halal food in schools, make Islam a required subject in the curriculum, and eliminate other subjects such as medieval Christianity (this is the recent proposal of Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, causing howls of rage). All of this suggests a desire not to integrate, but to transform and dominate the host society. Yet the non-Muslim denialists (e.g., French Socialist Manuel Valls), for their own sanity, still maintain that unemployment and poverty, not the aggressive ideology of Islam, are the “root causes” of Muslim misbehavior.
Because each Muslim demand can be made to appear reasonable by itself, it is their totality that has to be examined. Are the Chinese and Hindus and Vietnamese and Andean Indians making demands as to what should be taught, or not taught, in schools, infringing on the laic state through public flaunting of the law, demanding special treatment of all kinds? Only one group in France, or in Europe, does this: Muslims. But even if the Freedom Party of Geert Wilders, and the National Front in France, now openly discuss the Islamic threat, there are still in the main parties (such as Sarkozy’s “Republicains”) many who are unwilling to see what is in front of them, and employ their own mental strategies of denial — based on a desire to remain ignorant, out of the constant fear of what happens if non-Muslims recognize the truth. They are frozen in fear. There are so many Muslims in their midst: what can they do, if they recognize what the ideology of Islam really is? “Frozen in fear” describes so much of the non-Muslim scene.
Despite the battering rams of the few intrepid blogs, the gates of resistance to recognizing the nature of Islam remain. That is, denial is possible as long as the texts of Islam remain largely unexamined, so try not to learn, make sure you don’t find out. If you do, you might go mad. Thus do non-Muslims themselves end up denying what Islam inculcates. It’s the most extraordinary spectacle, seen high and low.
In the United States, the New York Times coverage of Muslim atrocities seldom links the act — look at the reports on Nidal Hasan or Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — to the texts used to justify them. At this site, one can say: this act was perfectly Islamic, and that one too, but not in the wider world of mass journalism. And yet many are now coming to that same understanding, and the Republican primary includes a half-dozen now perfectly ready to speak the truth about Islam.
As a recent example of the denial practiced by so many, see the recent New Yorker report on the Chapel Hill murders, billed as “The Anatomy of a Hate Crime.” It’s CAIR publicity in a major magazine. The author reports on, but minimizes, the history of the Chapel Hill killer’s many instances of parking-spot rage, directed equally at non-Muslims, too. Most of the piece is about the wonderfulness of the Muslim victims, and the fact that Hicks, the killer, surely was inflamed by the site of hijabs (asserted without the slightest evidence). And then the author goes on to describe how splendidly the murders were exploited, in a nice way, by Muslims, who then engaged in showy good works, proving apparently that they are good neighbors and good Americans, and all in all, it was a wonderful occasion, the author says unsardonically, usefully exploited by Muslims in America. The piece’s title contains the words “Hate Crime.” But there was no hate crime; no one except Muslims thinks that. Nonetheless, this is how the New Yorker tries to force the rest of us to think of it. It’s a small but most depressing example of the denial of another kind of reality — not about Muslim doctrine, but about non-Muslim behavior — in order to make us see Muslims as victims.
Isn’t all this feelgood fluffery simply another way to convince audiences that there is nothing fundamentally different about Islam; it will become, or is already, a welcome new addition to the American scene, and you don’t have to know more than the Islam of the apologists, such as that best-selling Karen Armstrong, whose Islam is still, maddeningly, a favorite of book clubs. The Muslims have their own explaining-away methods — Taqiyya and Tu Quoque — by way of answering critics, but at this point, they have no need. Non-Muslims are doing all the work for them. Until now, Islam has successfully defended itself in the war over its image within the West, and very dark days are ahead. Demography is destiny; Islam’s adherents are all over the place, having been let in because no one thought they should or could be stopped. Laziness, wanting to be liked or not disliked, fear of finding out, all had prevented the study of Islam. Now we, in America and Europe, are living with the results.