IT IS AN ERROR FOR ANYONE to call Islam a religion, but for those who insist, it's best referred to as a "Religion of War" that has arrived on our shore as an enemy invader for the sole purpose of conquering our nation even unto ruin. This point cannot be overemphasized.
The Qur'an vows to vanquish all religions and nations worldwide. Allah himself is the protagonist who relishes the role of a "hit man" vowing to knock off every person who rejects Islamsending them to burn in everlasting hell.
For Allah, there is nothing more heinous and loathsome than those infidels (non-believers) who refuse to convert, and there is nothing he will not do to eradicate them.
"I will terrorize the unbelievers. Therefore, smite them on their necks and every joint and incapacitate them. Strike off their heads and cut off their fingers and toes." (Qur'an 8:12)
"Allah wished to confirm the truth by his words: Wipe the infidels out to the last." (Qur'an: 8:7)
Just as most Republicans and Democrats disagree, and they do so vehemently disagree, so do most of the religious texts of Christianity and Islam, as do most of the texts of the US Constitution and the Qur'an, as do most of the American mainstream and the Muslim mainstream as to what constitutes the hearts and minds of ourselves, our families and our faith.
“Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur'an] psalms and Hadiths urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”
A HEIGHTENED SENSE of being deprived of food for a month encourages such demands and concessions of infidel populations. Ramadan is nothing but a "ram-it-down-your-throat" orgasm of Islamic triumphalism. Ramadan comes from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground, and shortness of rations. Oh those poor misunderstood submittersenter your local muslim-grievance-theatrics-group, interfaith re-education, one-way-bridge-to-Islam building sessions. If only the world would simply bend to their whim, there would be peace on earth. Yeah right. The proof is in their miserable death cult. Look at the map above. Are these people victims? No, what they have been, are, and will be, are ruthless deadly aggressors against peoples and cultures, and no amount of Leftist multicultural fantasy will change that fact. After all, they don't want to change. Every statement they make to the West is couched in distortion, double entendre and outlying lying, a doctrine known as taqiyya, right out of their own so-called sacred script for world domination.
The following program at YouTube, produced by Al Jazeera, unintentionally reveals, and actually confirms what we've read in the pages at JW/DW for years. Actually, Al Jiz provides quite a treasure trove for counter jihad fodder.
For example, a recent video explains the Islamic perception of immigration from an integration vs. assimilation point of view. Let's bite. Let's define these terms:
to (cause to) mix freely with other groups in society etc Example: The immigrants are not finding it easy to integrate into the life of our cities.
to take in and incorporate as one's own; absorb: He assimilated many new experiences on his European trip to bring into conformity with the customs, attitudes, et cetera, of a group, nation, or the like; adapt or adjust: to assimilate the new immigrants.
Check out the Al Jazeera English video Crossroads Europe. In this program, Al Jazeera reporter Elizabeth Filippouli interviews Midhat Ibrahim, a Kosovo national who immigrated to Sweden in 1952, in the main mosque at Rosengard, Malmo's poorest immigrant-populated district. Fast forward video to marker 8:20 where Elizabeth asks Midhat the following:
Elizabeth: "Do you think that Islam limits Muslims to fully integrate themselves into a Western society like Sweden?
Midhat: "Yes. Yes, I think Muslims can integrate. Assimilation, no. Integration, yes. The problem is that Christians don't know much about Islam. Muslims know much more about Christianity and Judaism."
Elizabeth continues: "Before I left, he cautioned me about the growing gulf between young Muslims and native Swedes. Many people accuse Islam, and young Muslims have had enough. The conflict starts because young Muslims want to defend Islam. They want Swedes to know, they are not terrorists. It's ignorance about Islam that breeds conflict."
Integrate = invade = YES
Assimilate = become a Swede = NO (Swede can be replaced Euro national of choice)
Muslim immigrants demand Euro nationals assimilate to Islam via the slow jihad. Islam demands such assimilation around the globethrough interfaith meetings demanding the West tolerate a most intolerant pseudo religious doctrine.
In the video report, Madhat stated, "Swedish Christians don't know Islam."
Of course. Only Muslims has instant knowledge. To 'know' Islam is to accept the shahada and Islamic supremacy. When those refusing to submit i.e. "know" Islam on such terms, submitters perceive such rejection as an assault on Islam triggering violent jihad to defend Islam. Thanks for clearing that up Al Jiz.
As this relates to Ramadan and Eid...
Eid marks the end of Ramadan and was first celebrated in 624 after winning the Battle of Badr, a turning point in Muhammad's struggle with the unsubmitting Quraish in Mecca. When Muhammad entered Mecca, he celebrated a great festival with his companions and family members.
Eid = Celebration of ethnic cleansing. Think about that when the next submitter proposes another infidel concession. Technically, Muslims skip lunch during Ramadan.
Quote from Isabelle the Crusader, "I knew a family where the mother told me she had to get up at 4:30 AM during Ramadan so she could make the big meal for everyone so they could eat it before the sun came up. The process was repeated at dinnertime, after the sun went down. While it's not a cake walk to skip meals for twelve hours, the illusion that these folks are fasting for an entire month is just more taqiya. I would think this is more about sleep deprivation than food deprivation."
It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Another well-researched well-crafted essay by the European writer called Fjordman...
IDO NOT BELIEVE that there is such a thing as a moderate Islam, and have been quite clear about that since I started writing. I disagree with observers such as Dr. Daniel Pipes on this particular point. I'd like to say to Pipes that I enjoy much of his work. I have linked to it a number of times before and intend to do so in the future as well. However, I get increasingly disturbed by how many people keep repeating the mantra of reaching out to "moderate Islam" when I have yet to see a single piece of evidence that a moderate Islam actually exists.
When asked about where to find a moderate Islam, Daniel Pipes has repeatedly referred to the late Sudanese scholar Mahmud Muhammud Taha, whose ideas are available in English in the book The Second Message of Islam. Taha's disciple and translator Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'Im, author of the book Toward an Islamic Reformation, has this to say about the ideas of his teacher:
"[T]he Medina message is not the fundamental, universal, eternal message of Islam. That founding message is from Mecca. So, the reformation of Islam must be based on a return to the Mecca message. In order to reconcile the Mecca and Medina messages into a single system, Muslim jurists have said that some of the Medina verses have abrogated the corresponding earlier verses from Mecca. Although the abrogation did take place, and it was logical and valid jurisprudence at one time, it was a postponement, not a permanent abrogation."
Because of this, An-Na'Im thinks that "The Mecca verses should now be made the basis of the law and the Medina verses should be abrogated. This counter-abrogation will result in the total conciliation between Islamic law and the modern development of human rights and civil liberties. In this sense we reformers are superfundamentalists."
I have read the books of both Taha and An-Na'Im closely. I find that their writing sounds better the first time you read it than it does the second time. For instance, Taha suggests that the reason why Muhammad and the early Muslims "had to" murder so many people was because these individuals didn't accept Islam peacefully. Not only does Taha not indicate that he thinks this was wrong, he describes armed Jihad as a "surgical tool" which can be used to implement true Islam. He hints that this hopefully won't be needed now because people are "mature" enough to know that Islam is good for them and will submit without coercion.
What happens to those who don't like Islam and have no intention of submitting? Taha doesn't say, but judging from his writings, he seems to believe that violence is justified against such people. It is hard to see in what way this is supposed to represent a "reformist" way of thinking. According to orthodox Islamic theology, Muslims are not allowed to physically attack non-Muslims unless these have first been invited to embrace Islam yet have failed to do so, in which case they are fair game. In other words, Muslims should try to convert people peacefully first and then start killing them afterwards if they refuse. Taha thus advocates a traditional concept of Jihad, one not qualitatively different from that espoused by Jihadist terrorists such as Osama bin Laden.
Although Taha resembles an apologist for Jihadist violence, he was still considered so unorthodox by traditional Muslims that he was executed as an apostate. Besides, his ideas are built on questionable "truths" about the Koran. Consider what the German professor Christoph Luxenberg claims in his pioneering work:
"In its origin, the Koran is a Syro-Aramaic liturgical book, with hymns and extracts from Scriptures which might have been used in sacred Christian services. In the second place, one may see in the Koran the beginning of a preaching directed toward transmitting the belief in the Sacred Scriptures to the pagans of Mecca, in the Arabic language. Its socio-political sections, which are not especially related to the original Koran, were added later in Medina. At its beginning, the Koran was not conceived as the foundation of a new religion. It presupposes belief in the Scriptures, and thus functioned merely as an inroad into Arabic society."
In other words, if Mr. Luxenberg is correct, what we now call the Meccan chapters of the Koran are peaceful precisely because they aren't "Islamic" at all, they are based on Christian texts. The "authentic" texts related to Muhammad and his companions, whoever the historical Muhammad really was, are the much more violent and aggressive chapters we classify as Medinan. This is precisely the opposite of what Taha and An-Na'Im suggest. From a secular point of view, their ideas are thus extremely vulnerable to historical criticism, and from an Islamic point of view, it's difficult to see how their ideas can be implemented.
After reading through much of the literature on the subject, I would divide "Muslim reformers" into three categories. The first, and by far the largest category, consists of liars, opportunists and taqiyya artists; people who want to infiltrate our societies rather than reform Islam. The second category consists of people who may be well-meaning but simply don't understand the issues involved. Irshad Manji, for instance, is not a bad person, but she just doesn't know very much about Islamic history. The third and smallest category consists of people who are knowledgeable and genuinely desire reform. The German-Syrian scholar Bassam Tibi could be placed here. I find some of his work interesting, but even he is incoherent and unconvincing in presenting the case for how a moderate Islam should look like.
Where does Taha belong in this picture? Frankly, I suspect it's among category 1. He is theologically unconvincing, and some of the passages he writes are outright disturbing if you read them closely and analyze what he's actually saying. The following quotes, with page references, are from the book The Second Message of Islam by Mahmud Muhammud Taha.
Page 74: "Reciprocity (al-mu'awadah) in the case of fornication is a fixed punishment (hadd) of either stoning to death or whipping. Since the fornicator sought easy pleasure without regard for Shari'a, he is made to suffer pain in order to recover his senses. An individual tends to lean more towards pleasure than towards pain. By pulling the self to pain, when it succumbs to prohibited pleasure, he reestablishes a certain equilibrium and avoids recklessness and folly. The fixed punishment for drinking alcohol is based on the same principle. A person who takes alcohol wishes to numb his mind, thereby trying to escape reality. The pain of whipping is intended to bring him back to face bitter reality, so that he may use his clear mind to improve this reality."'
Page 75: "Islam, in its essence, is not a religion according to the common meaning of the word, but rather a science, its dogma being merely transitional to its scientific stage."
Page 130: "We have said that the Qur'an was divided between al-iman and al-islam, as well as being revealed in two parts as Meccan and Medinese. The Meccan Qur'an was revealed first. In other words, people were invited to adopt Islam [in the ultimate sense] first, and when they failed to do so, and it was practically demonstrated that they were below its standard, they were addressed in accordance with their abilities."
My comment: What Taha means by this quote, as he makes clear in other passages, is that Muslims during the early Mecca phase invited people to accept Islam. When some of them refused to do so, Muslims had the right to start killing people and force them to accept Islam. Taha indicates that this principle should apply now, too. He also makes it perfectly clear that his definition of "freedom" is identical with sharia, and that those who abuse their freedom by not living according to sharia should face armed Jihad until they do. It's for their own good.
Page 134: "In this way, all the verses of persuasion, though they constitute the primary or original principle, were abrogated or repealed by the verses of compulsion (jihad). This exception was necessitated by the circumstances of the time and the inadequacy of the human capability to discharge properly the duty of freedom at that time."
"Some Muslim scholars believe that Islamic wars were purely defensive wars, a mistaken belief prompted by their keenness to refute claims by the Orientalists that Islam spread by means of the sword. In fact, the sword was used to curtail the abuse of freedom. Islam used persuasion for thirteen years in propagating its clearly valid message for the individual and the community. When the addressees failed to discharge properly the duties of their freedom, they lost this freedom, and the Prophet was appointed as their guardian until they came of age. However, once they embraced the new religion and observed the sanctity of life and property, and the social claims of their kith and kin, as they had been instructed, the sword was suspended, and abuses of freedom were penalized according to new laws. Hence the development of Islamic Shari'a law, and the establishment of a new type of government. In justifying the use of the sword, we may describe it as a surgeon's lancet and not a butcher's knife. When used with sufficient wisdom, mercy, and knowledge, it uplifted the individual and purified society."
Page 135: "Suffering death by the sword in this life is really an aspect of suffering hell in the next life, since both are punishments for disbelief. Whoever adds to his own disbelief by inciting others to disbelief or to shun the path of God must be suppressed before he takes up arms in the cause of disbelief."
Page 136: "Islam's original principle is freedom. But the Islamic religion was revealed to a society in which slavery was an integral part of the socioeconomic order. It was also a society that was shown in practice to be incapable of properly exercising its freedom, and therefore its individual members needed guidance; hence the consequent enactment of jihad. In Islamic jihad, the Muslims first had to offer to the unbelievers the new religion. If they refused to accept it, they had the second option of paying jizyah and living under Muslim government, while practicing their own religion and enjoying personal security. If they also refused the option of jizyah, the Muslims would fight them and if victorious take some of them as slaves, thereby adding to the number of those already in slavery."
"If an individual is invited to become the slave of God but refuses, such refusal is symptomatic of ignorance that calls for a period of training. The individual prepares to submit voluntarily to the servitude of God by becoming the slave of another person, thereby learning obedience and humility, which are becoming of a slave. Reciprocity (al-mu'awadah) here rules that if a free person refuses to become the slave of God, he may be subjugated and made the slave of a slave of God, in fair and just retribution: 'And whoso does an atom's weight of evil will also see it.' (99:8)"
My comment: The above passage is one of the most disturbing quotes from the entire book. Taha was from the Sudan, a country where chattel slavery is still being practiced today. If Taha had said that slavery once existed in most human societies, I could perhaps have accepted that. But he goes further than that. He indicates that slavery can in fact be morally good because it is a "training period" for becoming a slave of Allah, as all human beings should be. Let's imagine for a moment that Mr. Taha had been a white Christian, not a black Muslim. What if, say, Robert Spencer in his next book stated that slavery in the United States was good because it taught the slaves obedience and humility. Does anybody believe he would then have been hailed as a great example of a moderate and tolerant Christianity? Somehow, I doubt it. But there is apparently nothing "extremist" about supporting slavery if you are a Muslim. Extremists are nasty Islamophobes such as Geert Wilders.
Page 149: "Being so supreme, Islam has never been achieved by any nation up to the present day. The nation of muslimin has not yet come. It is expected to come, however, in the future of humanity."
My comment: Apart from sharia, Taha likes Communism, but he thinks the road to perfect Communism goes through sharia. Sharia is the key to global equality, eternal peace and warm apple pie. Unless they have banned warm apple pie by then, I don't know whether it's halal or not. It could be part of a Zionist plot:
Page 155-156: "The key here is that no one should be allowed to own anything that permits the exploitation of one citizen's labor to increase the income of another. Individual ownership, even within such narrow boundaries, should not be ownership of property as such, but rather ownership of the benefits derived from property, and all property remains in the ownership of God and the community as a whole. As production from resources increases, the equity of distribution is perfected, and differences are reduced by raising both minimum and maximum incomes. But the gap between minimum and maximum incomes is gradually narrowed in order to achieve absolute equality. When such absolute equality is achieved through the grace of God, and as a result of abundant production, we shall achieve communism or a sharing of the earth's wealth by all people. Communism thus differs from socialism in degree, in the sense that socialism is a stage in the development towards communism. The Prophet experienced ultimate communism."
Page 156-157: "…as the Prophet said, 'Justice shall fill the earth in the same way it was previously full of injustice.' This is what Marx dreamed of, but failed to find the way to achieve. It can only be achieved by al-muslimin who are yet to come, and then the earth shall enjoy a degree of fulfillment of the verse: 'The God-fearing are in gardens and springs. They will be told: Enter therein, in peace and security. We cleansed what was in their breasts of hatred, so they became brothers sitting together, never to feel hardship or be removed therefrom.' (15:45-48) This is the degree of communism to be achieved by Islam with the coming of the nation of muslimin, whence the earth shall light up with the Light of its Lord, and God's Grace is conferred upon its inhabitants, when there shall be peace, and love shall triumph."
All things summed up, I agree with Daniel Pipes: Mahmud Muhammud Taha is indeed an interesting case, but for precisely the opposite reason of what Mr. Pipes claims. Taha supports the idea of slavery on a moral basis, not just as an historical fact. "Freedom" is identical with sharia and being a slave of Allah. Those who don't want to accept Islam or Islamic rule should face armed Jihad, and the sword should be used as a "surgical tool" to cut them off from the body of society. And this is moderate…..how, exactly?
If Taha is the great hope for a moderate Islam, we can conclude that a moderate Islam supports slavery, stoning people to death for adultery, whipping those who enjoy a glass of wine or beer and massacring those who disagree with the above mentioned policies. Taha openly supported many of the most appalling aspects of sharia, yet was still considered so controversial that he was executed as an apostate.
The story of Mahmud Muhammud Taha is the ultimate, definitive and final proof that there is no moderate Islam. There never has been and there never will be. It's a myth. We should not base our domestic or foreign policies on the existence of a moderate Islam just like we should not base them on the existence of other mythical creatures such as the yeti or the tooth fairy.
It is unpleasant to conclude that Islam cannot be reformed. I don't like it either, and would much have preferred a different answer. But I see no practical indications that a tolerant Islam is emerging and have great difficulty in envisioning how such an entity could look like. There are several ways Islam could conceivably be reformed, yet none of them are very likely to succeed.
I have reviewed and criticized Irshad Manji's work before. Although she never says so explicitly in her book, I get the impression that Manji largely agrees with the mantra that "Islam is whatever Muslims make of it." I don't share this view. Why do those who behead Buddhist teachers in Thailand, burn churches in Nigeria, persecute Hindus in Pakistan or blow bombs in the London subway always "misunderstand" Islamic texts? Why don't they feel this urge to kill people after reading about, say, Winnie the Pooh?
If any text was infinitely elastic, we could replace the Koran with any other book and get the same result. That's obviously not the case. If you have a text that repeatedly calls for killing, death and mayhem, more people are going to "interpret" this text in aggressive ways. Islam is the most aggressive and violent religion on earth in practice because its texts are more aggressive than those of any other major religion, and because the example of Muhammad is vastly more violent than that of any other religious founder. If you return to the original Islam, which Manji claims to seek, you get Jihad, since that's what the original Islam was all about.
The dozens of explicit Jihad verses in the Koran won't all magically disappear. As long as they exist, somebody is bound to take them seriously. And since any "reformed" Islam must ultimately be rooted in Islamic texts, this probably means that Islam cannot be reformed.
The process of change is anyway not our job. Muslims should do that themselves. They are adults and should take care of their own problems just like everybody else does. For this reason, I dislike Manji's suggestion that infidels should spend money on sponsoring Muslims.
Muslims will not feel much gratitude if we fund their hospitals or schools. To them, everything good that happens is the will of Allah. Infidels are supposed to pay the jizya to Muslims anyway, so many of them will see payments from us as a sign of submission. They will thus become more arrogant and aggressive by such acts rather than feeling grateful.
As long as infidels keep bailing them out, Muslims have no incentives to change. They will only reform or abandon Islam once they are forced to deal with the backwardness brought by Islamic teachings. For this reason, we need a strategy for containment of the Islamic world. It's the very minimum we can live with. If Muslims need money, let them ask their Saudi brothers for it. If the Saudis have to finance hospitals in Gaza or Pakistan, this means they have less of it to finance terrorism, which is good. I agree with Hugh Fitzgerald on this one.
It is possible that some schools or branches within Islam are more tolerant than others. Yes, there are theological differences between Sunnis and Shi'a Muslims. These can be significant enough for Muslims, but for non-Muslims they are usually not important. Shia Islam is not more peaceful than Sunni Islam, nor is it more tolerant, with the possible exception of the Ismaili branch, but they are far less numerous than the adherents of Twelver Shi`ism. Since the Shi'a constitute a tiny minority of the world's Muslims, the Ismailis are a minority of a minority and quite marginal in the greater scheme of things.
My view is that as long as you start out with the texts used by orthodox Muslimsthe Koran, the hadith and the sirait is more or less impossible to come up with a peaceful and tolerant version of Islam. In principle it might be possible to change things by either adding more religious texts or ignoring some of those that already exist. Both options are problematic.
Since Muhammad was supposed to be final messenger of Allah, the "seal of the prophets," any person later claiming to bring new revelations to mankind will invariably be viewed as a fraud and a heretic by orthodox Muslims. This is what happened to the Ahmadiyya movement, who are viewed as unbelievers by most others Muslims, including many in "moderate" Indonesia.
Another example is the Bahá'í faith, which is indeed more peaceful than mainstream Islam, but their view of history, where the Buddha is seen as a messenger alongside Muhammad, differs so radically from traditional Islam that it is usually classified as a separate religion. Bahá'ís are ruthlessly persecuted in the Islamic world, particularly in Iran where the movement originated. They are viewed as apostate Muslims since they challenge the concept of the finality of Muhammad's prophethood. Ironically, their supreme governing institution is situated in Haifa, in the evil, racist apartheid state of Israel. So they get persecuted by "tolerant" Muslim, yet are treated with decency by the "intolerant" Israelis.
There are also the "Koran only" Muslims, who, from what I can gather, currently constitute a very small group of people. They advocate that Muslims should ignore the hadith and the sira and rely solely on the Koran for guidance. In order to achieve this, they will first have to defy mounting opposition from other Muslims who will have some rather powerful theological arguments in their favor. The Koran itself says repeatedly that you should obey both the Koran and the example of Muhammad. But the personal example of Muhammad and his companions, his Sunna, is mainly recorded in extra-Koranical material such as the hadith and the sira. If you remove them, you remove the main sources of information for how to conduct prayer, pilgrimage etc., which is usually not recorded in any great detail in the Koran.
"Koran only" reformers, and indeed all aspiring reformers, will have to face the possibility of being branded as heretics and apostates, a crime which potentially carries the death penalty according to traditional sharia law. On top of this, there are more than enough verses in the Koran itself advocating Jihad and intolerance for this alternative to remain problematic, too. For these reasons, it is unlikely that a "Koran only" version of Islam can ever constitute a viable long-term reform path.
A researcher from Denmark, Tina Magaard, has spent years analyzing the original texts of different religions, from Buddhism to Sikhism, and concludes that the Islamic texts are by far the most warlike among the major religions of the world. They encourage terror and fighting to a far larger degree than the original texts of other religions. "The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with," says Magaard. Moreover, there are hundreds of calls in the Koran for fighting against people of other faiths. "If it is correct that many Muslims view the Koran as the literal words of God, which cannot be interpreted or rephrased, then we have a problem. It is indisputable that the texts encourage terror and violence. Consequently, it must be reasonable to ask Muslims themselves how they relate to the text, if they read it as it is," she says.
It has been suggested that some regional versions of Islam, for instance "Southeast Asian Islam," are more peaceful than "Arab Islam." First of all, in this age of globalization and international sponsorship of conservative theology by Saudi Arabia and others, regional interpretations are likely to diminish, not increase. And second of all, I'm not convinced that Southeast Asian Islam is more tolerant than other forms of the religion.
It is true that Muslims in some parts of Indonesia have perhaps been less strict than Muslims in, say, Egypt, but this was because Indonesia was Islamized at a later date and still contained living residues of its pre-Islamic culture. In such cases, we are dealing with "less Islam" or "diluted Islam," which isn't quite the same as "moderate Islam" even if some observers claim that it is. Moreover, numerous churches have been burnt down or destroyed in that country only during the last decade, which hardly indicates that Indonesia is a beacon of tolerance.
In Thailand and the Philippines, where Muslims constitute a minority, non-Muslims have been murdered or chased away from certain areas by Islamic groups who wage a constant Jihad against the authorities. The city-state of Singapore is surrounded by several hundred million Muslims and can only manage to avoid outside attacks by curtailing the freedom of speech of its citizens and banning public criticism of Islam.
Malaysia has been a moderate economic success story because it has had a large and dynamic non-Muslim population and only recently became majority Muslim. This corresponds to some extent to the early phases of Islamization in the Middle East. The Golden Age of Islam was in reality the twilight of the pre-Islamic cultures. The scientific achievements during this period are exaggerated, and those that did take place happened overwhelmingly during the early phases of Islamic rule when there were still large non-Muslim populations. When these communities declined due to Muslim harassment, the Middle East, home to some of the oldest civilizations on earth, slowly declined into a backwardness from which it has never recovered.
Lebanon was a reasonably successful and civilized country while it still had a slim Christian majority, but has rapidly declined into Jihad and sharia barbarism in recent decades due to higher Muslim birth rates and non-Muslims leaving the country. It is possible that something similar will happen to Malaysia, as Muslims become more confident and aggressive.
Lastly, you can try to constrain Islam and keep it down by brute force. This kind of muscular secularism, enforced with methods no Western country would even contemplate supporting at the present time, has been tried under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey. Yet Turkey has never been a beacon of tolerance, and the very few non-Muslims who remain in the country still face harassment. Kemalism has kept Islam at bay but has never really reformed it. Even after almost a century, Islam is in the process of making a comeback. There are serious cracks in the façade of secularism, and some observers fear an Islamic revolution in the country.
The Turkish example is not altogether promising. We should remember that Iran, too, was perceived as a moderate and modern country until the revolution brought the Ayatollah Khomeini to power in 1979. The lesson we can draw from this is that Islam can lie dormant for generations, yet strike again with renewed vigour when the opportunity arises.
If "reform" is taken to mean a return to the historical period of the religious founder, Muhammad, and his followers, it will lead to an inevitable upsurge of Jihadist violence, since that was what Muhammad and his followers were all about.
The debate about a "reformed" Islam is inappropriately colored by a Western historical perspective, with references to the Protestant Reformation in sixteenth century Europe. This indirectly implies that there is some form of equivalence between Christianity and Islam. I don't think there is, even though I am not a Christian. Christianity with its concept of the Trinity is akin to soft-polytheism from an Islamic point of view. The religious texts are clearly different, not to mention the personal examples of the founders of the two religions, Jesus and Muhammad. Islam became a major world religion through armed conquest and the creation of an empire. Christianity became a major world religion by gradually taking over an already established empire, the Roman Empire.
Christianity's slow growth within a Greco-Roman context made it possible for Christians to assimilate Greek philosophy and Roman law to an extent that never happened among Muslims, even in the Mediterranean world which had been dominated by the Romans. This had major consequences for further scientific and political developments in Europe and in the Middle East. Exposure to Greek and other scientific traditions did lead to some advances in the earliest centuries of Islamic rule, but Greek natural philosophy was never accepted into the core curriculum of Islamic madrasas as it was in European universities.
When the American Founding Fathers in the eighteenth century discussed how the shape of their young Republic should be, they were influenced by, in addition to modern thinkers and the British parliamentary system, descriptions of democratic Athens and the Roman Republic, through Aristotle's political texts and Cicero's writings. None of these texts were ever available in Arabic or Persian translations. They were rejected by Muslims, but preserved, translated, and studied with interest by Christians. The artistic legacy of the Greeks was also largely rejected by Muslims. In short, Westerners have no shared "Greco-Roman legacy" with Muslims. They cared mainly for one part of this great legacy, the scientific-philosophical part, and even that part they failed to assimilate.
The theological differences between Christianity and Judaism vs. Islam are huge. As Robert Spencer explains in his excellent little book Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't, in Christianity the central tenet is that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). While acknowledging that any human being is capable of evil, the Koran says that Muslims are "the best of peoples" (3:110) while the unbelievers are the "vilest of creatures" (98:6). In such a worldview, it is easy to see evil in others but difficult to locate it in oneself. The Koran also says that the followers of Muhammad are "ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another" (48:29), and that the unbelievers are the "worst of created beings" (98:6). One may exercise the Golden Rule in relation to a fellow Muslim, but according to the laws of Islam, the same courtesy is not to be extended to unbelievers.
Yes, you can find violent passages in the Hebrew Bible, such as in the book of Joshua regarding the conquest of Jericho, but "throughout history, rather than celebrating such biblical passages, Jews and Christians have regarded them as a problem to be solved. While interpretations of these passages differ widely among Jews and Christians, from the beginning of rabbinic Judaism and Christianity one understanding has remained dominant among virtually all believers: these passages are not commands for all generations to follow, and if they have any applicability, it is only in a spiritualized, parabolic sense."
As Spencer says, "the consensus view among Jews and Christians for many centuries is that unless you happen to be a Hittite, Girgashite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, or Jebusite, these biblical passages simply do not apply to you. The scriptures record God's commands to the Israelites to make war against particular people only. However this may be understood, and however jarring it may be to modern sensibilities, it does not amount to any kind of marching orders for believers. That's one principal reason why Jews and Christians haven't formed terror groups around the world that quote the Bible to justify killing non-combatants."
The fact that two initially separate calls for reform, started under different circumstances and for different reasons, produced somewhat similar results is worth contemplating. Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin also called for returning to the Golden Age of early Christianity. Although the Reformation was a turbulent period while it lasted, it did pave the way for more tolerance and religious freedom in Christian Europe in the long run.
The main problem with Islam isn't that it is a stupid religion, as some people say, but that it is a violent and aggressive one. I consider Scientology to be an incredibly stupid creed, but I haven't heard about many people living in fear that Tom Cruise will cut off their head while quoting poems of L. Ron Hubbard and then post a video of the deed on the Internet.
Yes, religions do evolve. Stoning people to death was once practiced by Jews, but they progressed and left this practice behind because they considered it to be cruel, which it is. The problem is that there are literally dozens - more than one hundred, depending on how you count - verses calling for Jihad in the Koran, and additional ones in the hadith. Any "tolerant" form of Islam would have to reject all of these verses, permanently, in addition to the personal example of Muhammad and his followers as well as a large body of secondary literature by more than a thousand years of sharia scholars. That's a tall order. We should also remember that Jihad is not the end goal of Islam. Sharia is. Jihad is a tool used to achieve sharia and the rule of Islamic law extended to all of mankind.
As I have explained in my earlier essay Do we want an Islamic Reformation? and in the online booklet Is Islam Compatible With Democracy?, the question of whether Islam is compatible with democracy largely hinges upon your definition of "democracy." If this simply means voting, with no freedom of speech or safeguards for individual rights or minorities then yes, it can, as a vehicle for imposing sharia on society. But such a "pure" democracy isn't necessarily a good system even without Islam, as critics from Plato to Thomas Jefferson have convincingly argued.
Likewise, the question of whether or not Islam can be reformed largely hinges upon your definition of "Reformation." I usually say that Islam cannot be reformed, and by "reformed" I thus implicitly understand this as meaning something along the lines of "peaceful, non-sharia based with respect for individual choice and freedom of speech." In other words: "Reform" is vaguely taken to mean less Islam.
However, Robert Spencer and others have argued that there are similarities between Martin Luther and the Christian Reformation in 16th century Europe and the reform movement started by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab in the Arabian Peninsula in the 18th century. Wahhab's alliance with regional ruler Muhammad bin Saud and his family later led to the creation of Saudi Arabia. There was another modern "reform" movement, the so-called Salafism of 19th century thinkers such as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh. Whereas the former was an internal reform movement triggered by calls for removing "corruption" from society, the latter was clearly a response to external, Western pressures.
Although Abduh's ideas were continued in a secular direction by individuals such as Egyptian writer Taha Hussein, clearly the most successful strands were those developed into what was later termed "Islamic fundamentalism" in the 20th century. Muhammad Abduh's pupil Rashid Rida inspired Hassan al-Banna when he formed the Muslim Brotherhood. Rida urged Muslims not to imitate infidels, but return to the Golden Age of early Islam, as did Abduh. Rida also recommended reestablishing the Caliphate, and applauded when the Wahhabists conquered Mecca and Medina and established modern Saudi Arabia. The two reform movements thus partly merged in the 20th century, into organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
The fact that two initially separate calls for reform, started under different circumstances and for different reasons, produced somewhat similar results is worth contemplating. Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin also called for returning to the Golden Age of early Christianity. Although the Reformation was a turbulent period while it lasted, it did pave the way for more tolerance and religious freedom in Christian Europe in the long run. This was, in my view, at least partly because Christians could return to the example, as contained in the Gospels, of an early age where the founder of their religion and his disciples led a largely peaceful movement separate from the state. Muslims, on the other hand, can find a similar example only in the Mecca period. As long as the writings from the violent Medina period are still in force, a return to the "early, Golden Age" of Islam will mean a return to intolerance and Jihad violence.
Some Western observers are searching for a "Muslim Martin Luther" who is expected to end the resurgent Islamic Jihad. But one could argue that we already have a Muslim Martin Luther: He's called Osama bin Laden, deeply inspired by the teachings of Muslim Brotherhood thinker Sayyid Qutb. If "reform" is taken to mean a return to the historical period of the religious founder, Muhammad, and his followers, it will lead to an inevitable upsurge of Jihadist violence, since that was what Muhammad and his followers were all about.
The question of whether Islam is reformable is an important one. But perhaps an even more crucial one is whether an Islamic Reformation would be desirable from a non-Muslim point of view, and the likely answer to that is "no."
Here's an interesting item. Jean-Marie Le Pen has been convicted of racism and fined 10,000 euros for remarks he made about Muslims four years ago. La Croix reports:
Jean-Marie Le Pen was fined 10,000 euros on Wednesday by the Paris appeals court for provocation to discrimination, hatred and racial violence, as a result of his remarks about Muslims printed in the April 2004 edition of the extreme right-wing journal Rivarol.
The 11th chamber of the court of appeals also sentenced the president of the Front National to 5000 euros in damages to be paid to the plaintiff, the Human Rights League. The lower criminal court had "nullified the suit" against him; thus he escaped conviction at the first hearing.
On April 2, 2004, the criminal court of Paris had condemned Jean-Marie Le Pen for an interview he gave to Le Monde on April 19, 2003, in which he declared: "The day when we have in France not 5 million but 25 million Muslims they will be our masters. The French people will hug the walls, they will walk on the sidewalks with their eyes lowered. And if they don't, they will be stopped: 'Why are you looking at me like that, are you looking for a fight?' And you will have to run, or else you'll be beaten," he added.
A month later Le Pen was back on the offensive in an interview in Rivarol: "Furthermore whenever I said that with 25 million Muslims in France the French people will hug the walls, people in the audience would say to me, and rightly so: 'But Mr. Le Pen, that is already the case now.'"
It was for these new remarks that he was convicted on Wednesday.
"The defendant pits the French against the Muslims (...) and attempts to arouse (...) a feeling of rejection and hostility towards the Muslim community," the court decided Wednesday. "His words instill in the mind of the public the belief that the security of the French depends on rejecting Muslims and that fear and apprehension, linked to their growing presence in France, will cease if their numbers decrease and if they disappear," the court added.
Orwellian thought control is nearly complete. The Anti-Christ is ascending.
While one who sings with his tongue on fire Gargles in the rat race choir Bent out of shape from society’s pliers Cares not to come up any higher But rather get you down in the hole That he’s in
But I mean no harm nor put fault On anyone that lives in a vault But it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him Bob Dylan
THE MYSTERIOUS SHEIK BEHIND the Australian chapter of Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir has revealed the organization's support for military coups and revolutions to overthrow non-Muslim governments worldwide. Ismail Al Wahwah, who was little known until last month when he was banned from a Hizb ut-Tahrir conference in Indonesia, spoke out on an Arabic radio program that revealed him as the "active member" of the group in Australia....
"I say any occupied people have the responsibility to defend their country," he told SBS's Arabic radio program. "The victim should not be asked how he is defending himself."
Sheik Wahwah is understood to be the unofficial leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia. The Australian has obtained the first pictures of the man widely known in the Muslim community as Abu Anas. Hizb ut-Tahrir's media spokesman, Wassim Doureihi, denied the sheik was the group's leader in Australia, saying Sheik Wahwah was a senior member and that his brother, Ashraf, a civil engineer at North Sydney Council, was the official leader.
But Sheik Wahwah is sent to address senior members of the Islamic community in Sydney on behalf of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and he was Australia's representative for the Indonesian conference....
Hizb ut-Tahrir is a secretive organisation known as the Party of Islamic Liberation, which advocates the destruction of Western civilisation and the overthrow of governments and their replacement by Islamic rule. The group is banned in Europe, China and Saudi Arabia, but remains legal in Britain and Australia, actively pushing the idea of a Muslim rule....
"It is up to the Ummah (community) to sort out its own matter with these rulers and remove their ruler in a public manner," he said. "It could be such as a public revolution, public disobedience or a military coup. We are in the front line with the Ummah. We don't engage in militant activities. Our case is to make the case of Islam the case of the Ummah."
I speak peace when peace is spoken, But I speak war when your hate is provoking, The season is open 24-7-365, Man up yo time to ride, No need to hide behind slogans of deceit, Claiming that you're a religion of peace, We just don't believe you, We can clearly see through, The madness that you're feeding your people, Jihad the cry of your unholy war, Using the willing, the weak and poor, From birth drowning in propaganda, rhetoric and slander, All we can say is damn ya My forefathers fought and died for this here I'm stronger than your war of fear Are we clear? If you step in my hood It's understood It's open season
I don't need a faith that's blind, Where death and hate bring me peace of mind, With views that are stuck deep in the seventh century, So much sand in your eyes to blind to see, The venom that you leaders preach, Is the path to your own destruction, Your own demise, You might say That I don't understand but your disgust for me is what I realize, Surprise! Your homicidal ways has got the whole world watching, Whole world scoping, So if you bring it to my home base, Best believe it, The season's open...
AS IF ALL THE RECENT SPATE of unfalsified news now trickling out of Kosovo-Serbia about who the "true" victions of that conflict are (hint: it wasn't the American-backed Muslims of Kosovo) isn't shocking enough, let's reach deeper into this vat of deception and deceit that is rendered to us as an awkward alliance between the western Left and historical Islam.
Future historians studying the decline and fall of the American Empire will probably focus on George W. Bush's disastrous Iraqi adventurethe modern-day equivalent of Alcibiades' Sicilian expeditionto explain the pathology of a global hyper-power. However, while Iraq has been, beyond any doubt, a significant factor in depleting Imperial power, it is arguably not the conflict that destroyed the Empire's authority. Since it is the authority that marks the difference between the State and a gang of street thugs (i.e. the perception of legitimacy in the use of force by the populace against which it is being used), its loss is much harder for an Empire to recover from.
Before there was Iraq, there was Kosovoanother "war of choice," another war of aggression against all international law, national constitutions and alliance charters, waged to show the world that the United States and its NATO military arm asserted the right to attack anyone, anywhere, for whatever reason. It was packaged and sold as a "humanitarian" war, waged to "prevent genocide" and "stop ethnic cleansing." There was nothing humanitarian about targeting civilian infrastructure. There was no genocide. And the ethnic cleansing that ended up taking place was the expulsion of Serbs, Jews and Roma from the "liberated" provincemuch as the Jews, Christians, and others who ended up in the "wrong" areas became refugees from "liberated" Iraq.
For those who believe what the Muslims believe themselves, that the Qur'an has never changed and Muslims obey the commandments of Allah and the practices of Muhammed the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, here's a little wake-up call for what's coming down the pike when these masters of deception (religion of peace, et cetera) finally reach their magical (Qur'an dictated) number or critical mass where they feel all-out war on the infidels is mandated by their God.
They may start slowly, but once their blood thirst reaches it's heights, those heads will roll...
The Skull Tower (Serbian: Ćele Kula) is a monument to 19th century Serbian rebels. It is situated in Niš, on Zoran Đinđić Boulevard, on the old Constantinople road leading to Sofia.
On May 31, 1809 on Čegar Hill a few kilometers northeast of Niš, Serbian insurrectionists suffered their greatest defeat in the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire (1804-1813). The insurrectionists' advance towards Niš was stopped here and, when the far stronger Turkish forces attacked, the battle was ended by the Serbian commander Stevan Sinđelić, who sacrificially fired at his gunpowder depot in order to avoid surrendering to the Turks, killing himself, the rest of his men, and the advancing Turks. After the retreat of the Serbian rebel army, the Turkish commander of Niš, Hurshid Pasha, ordered that the heads of the killed Serbians were to be mounted on a tower to serve as a warning to any other would-be revolutionaries. In all, 952 skulls were included, with the skull of Sindjelić placed at the top. The scalps from the skulls were stuffed with cotton and sent to Constantinople (modern Istanbul) as proof for Sultan Mahmud II.
The tower stood in the open air until the liberation of Niš in 1878. By that time, much of the tower had deteriorated from weather conditions or from the removal of skulls for burial by relatives of killed rebels. In 1892, with donations gathered from all over Serbia, a graceful chapel designed by the Belgrade architect Dimitrije T. Leko was built to enclose what was left of the tower. Today, only 58 skulls remain, including Sindjelić's one.
In front of the chapel stands the monument to Sinđelić, and a small relief depicting the battle, both from 1937. The monument commemorating the battle in the form of a guard tower was built in 1927 on Čegar Hill by Julian Djupon. The lower part is made out of stone from the Niš fortress.
If this warning gto all and sunder be fearmongering, so be it. Contemporary culture only seems to want to complain about who knew what and when AFTER the fact, while sunning themselves and gorging on fluff, self-satisfied and petulent in the lead up to the very worst fears of their lives. But the signs are everywhere that something really bad in terms of war and mayhem is on its way. Now that we've all had a taste of rainy day women, don't say you weren't warned.
Remember, it's not the pious moderate Muslim you need to be concerned about. It's the pious moderate Muslim who changes his approach in a twinkling of a cobra's eye that should concern you.
Yes, I'm feeling rather bellicose this today. So I appeal to history for justification of this concern.
The War on Terror against Jihad today (2001 ongoing)Of course, if one has a preconceived notion that Muslims are not the offending party, but the oppressed people in question in each of these war zones (what about Muslim on Muslim raids), and will not let go of that notion no matter how many persuading facts and relevant perspectives are delivered, well, there's some old line about a horse and water I must avail myself.
Language stands in our way here. Although this article hits much closer to the mark, there is still an impediment to identifying the true nature of the enemy in that it is slighly misidentified. The word "terrorist" is very abused these days, and one envisions here a group that willy-nilly tosses money and resources, or agitates in favour of, groups that bomb teenagers in coffee shops and commuters on trains or fly planes into buildings.
It is this stereotype that will lead such articles to ridicule. For, although the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) has in the past been directly involved in such activity and now is more covertly involved in supporting groups like Hamas, they can legitimately claim not to support or validate attacks in the West (or, at least they can argue that this is an unfair characterization of their work and goals).
It is important that we describe clearly and precisely what these folks are up to. They would be quite happy, if possible, to set up a Caliphate in the U.S. and eliminate the constitution, without shedding a drop of blood. To simply characterize them as "terrorist" or "pro-terrorist" is facile and at best only close to the mark.
The Ikhwan are radical, vehement islamists bent on world domination. That this puts them in bed with some terrorist groups is true, but they are careful about with whom they associate. You can pin them down on Hamas, but they will argue that this is a legitimate government group or "freedom fighters".
But you can not successfully associate them with ... say, Al Qaeda. Read the Ikhwan literature: they are quite clear that, although they share many common objectives with Osama's army, they condemn them outright as unislamic and an illegal breakaway group. If pushed the right way they may even say that Osama is Takfir.
They have no qualms about condemning jihadist groups, and their actions, if they are not affiliated with those groups. So, to come out guns-blazing and saying the Ikhwan is out and out terrorist, or even pro-terrorist, is to play into their hands. They can, and will try to, bring ridicule to such claims. Watch how they handle these proceedings, particularly when it comes to anyone who oversimplifies by calling them terrorists instead of focussing on their agenda and subversive activities.