ONE OF THE MOST COMMON arguments of the supporters of the Ground Zero mosque includes religious freedom as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Religion is seen as the framework to support building a mosque and community center near the site of the former World Trade Towers. Is this really about religion? Step back and look at the controversy. Do you feel like you are taking part in a religious exercise or a political fracas?
There is a vast confusion about what a religion is and is not. Currently the operative rule is that anything associated with Islam is a religious affair where all of the freedom of religion is applied to the action or event. Islam's actions are religious and if you oppose it, you are an un-American bigot.
It is time to stop and take a look at what we mean by a religion. There are about as many Buddhists in America today as there are Muslims. When was the last time you remember a Buddhist demand of any kind? Do Buddhists set up councils to shape the textbooks and demand Buddhist finance? Does the government make a big announcement when Buddhists are appointed to high posts? Are there even any Buddhists in any White House appointments? Do Buddhists complain? Never, for these are political actions, and Buddhism has almost no political outreach. Buddhism in America is purely religious, not political at all.
Yet the media and the Internet are consumed by talk and argument about Islam. The discussion is never about how many rounds of prayer to do or whether a certain food is halal (religiously proper). No, the focus is always on something that non-Muslims are to do to accommodate an Islamic religious practice.
There is a practical working definition of religion as compared to politics. Religious practices are done by those who follow that religion and are motivated for achieving paradise and avoiding hell. Outsiders are not involved in those religious acts. If it is about going to heaven and avoiding hell, then it is religious. However, if the religion makes a demand on those outside of its own group, then that demand is political.
Most people think that the Koran is a religious text. Instead, 64% of the text (by word count) is about non-Muslims, who are called Kafirs. The Koran is fixated on Kafirs and makes many demands on them. Not the least is that Kafirs submit to the rule of Islamic Sharia law. Ultimately Sharia law is the pure expression of Islamic politics and it completely contradicts our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Under Sharia there is no freedom of speech, wives may be beaten and apostates murdered.
Mohammed had little success with Islam until he transformed it into a political system. He preached the religion of Islam in Mecca for 13 years and made about 150 converts. He left Mecca and moved to Medina. In Medina he turned to politics and jihad. In the last 9 years of his life, Mohammed was involved in an event of violence on the average of every 6 weeks. The political method persuaded every Arab to convert to Islam. The religion did not succeed; it was politics that made Islam powerful.
Here is an excerpt from a San Francisco Chronicle article suggesting that the American Blues style of popular music may actually have Muslim slave origins.
BAILEY LIVES ON Georgia's Sapelo Island, where a small community of blacks can trace their ancestry to Bilali Mohammed, a Muslim slave who was born and raised in what is now the country of Guinea. Visitors to Sapelo Island are always struck by the fact that churches there face east. In fact, as a child, Bailey learned to say her prayers facing eastthe same direction that her great-great-great-great-grandfather faced when he prayed toward Mecca.
Bilali was an educated man. He spoke and wrote Arabic, carried a Qur'an and a prayer rug, and wore a fez that likely signified his religious devotion. (Bilali had been trained in Africa to be a Muslim leader; on Sapelo Island, he was appointed by his slave master to be an overseer of other slaves). Although Bilali's descendents adopted Christianity, they incorporated Muslim traditions that are still evident today.
The name Bailey, in fact, is a reworking of the name Bilali, which became a popular Muslim name in Africa because one of Islam's first convertsand the religion's first muezzinwas a former Abyssinian slave named Bilal. (Muezzins are those who recite the call to prayer from the minarets of mosques. ) One historian believes that abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who changed his name from Frederick Bailey, may have had Muslim roots.
"History changes things," says Bailey, 59, who chronicled the history of Sapelo Island in her memoir, "God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man."
"Things become something different from what they started out as."
The tiny community of Hog Hammock on Sapelo Island in Georgia is one of the earliest freed slave settlements, and it is still home to descendants of the original owners. That may change though, as the Gullah-Geechee people in the Hog Hammock community are being forced to sell because of soaring property taxes. The owners aren’t giving up without a fight, though, and are making their story known.
Hog Hammock has a population of less than 50, and according to resident Cornelia Bailey, the people there receive no county services. This makes it difficult for the home and business owners in the community to understand why their property appraisals (and tax bills) are soaring. The community has no school, no police station and only one paved road to maintain.
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."
"He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time."Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Mecca time to replace GMT, arguing that the Saudi city is the true centre of the Earth. Mecca is the direction all Muslims face when they perform their daily prayers. The call was issued at a conference held in the Gulf state of Qatar under the title: Mecca, the Centre of the Earth, Theory and Practice.
One geologist argued that unlike other longitudes, Mecca's was in perfect alignment to magnetic north. He said the English had imposed GMT on the rest of the world by force when Britain was a big colonial power, and it was about time that changed.
A prominent cleric, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawy, said modern science had at last provided evidence that Mecca was the true centre of the Earth; proof, he said, of the greatness of the Muslim "qibla" - the Arabic word for the direction Muslims turn to when they pray....
The meeting in Qatar is part of a popular trend in some Muslim societies of seeking to find Koranic precedents for modern science. It is called "Ijaz al-Koran", which roughly translates as the "miraculous nature of the holy text". The underlying belief is that scientific truths were also revealed in the Muslim holy book, and it is the work of scholars to unearth and publicise the textual evidence.
But the movement is not without its critics, who say that the notion that modern science was revealed in the Koran confuses spiritual truth, which is constant, and empirical truth, which depends on the state of science at any given point in time.
Gee, ya think? Ridiculous speech from ridiculous men. Here's an insightful take by another internet wit:
This trajectory is unstoppable, for this is the only result which can come from trillions upon trillions of unearned dollars flowing into the coffers of a nation whose buffoonishness even outsrips their epic wickedness.
Let them build those idiotic Palm Island boondoggles in the seas with those unearned trillions. Let them build as many gleaming towers and solid gold toilets as they wish. It's all for nothing like polish on a turd.
Nevertheless, there are still people who believe that man never walked on the moon, that dinosaurs existed with man because the world is only 6,000 years old, or that God planted dinosaur bones to test people’s faith.
Let them attempt to impose on the world their zany "Meccan Sciences" for they cannot conceal from the world their backwardness, loutishness, and nastiness any more than a corpse can conceal the nauseating stench of decay.
Let them soar and spiral unchecked into the endless stratospheres of their mounting insanities. The stewards of Islam sow the seeds of their utter destruction, for if sanity still presides in the larger world, there are only so many options in dealing with insane murdering psychopaths.
Before one jumps to nasty conclusions, remember that for thousands of years for some the most brilliant minds the West has produced, it was “common sense” that the Sun went around the Earth. Many Christians today take the Bible literally, even though there are far too many contradictory passages which cannot be reconciled despite their best attempts.
Muslims believe that God dictated the Q’ran to Mohammed, which suffers even greater interpretational issues. Nevertheless, there are still people who believe that man never walked on the moon, that dinosaurs existed with man because the world is only 6,000 years old, or that God planted dinosaur bones to test people’s faith.
But when it comes to jihad, we need to take those bastards out, and with all the power the West can muster, tame this vicious beast called Islam.
Once again for hard emphasis. Islam is not a race. Islam is a pernicious ideology, spoiling for global domination and the total submission of the world to its evil culture of death. Should I mention again its historical links to Old Joe Goebbels and his fatherland, Nazi Germany? Warning from the homefront. This is the intellectual if not the blood and guts battlefield of the 21st century. Thus we are not shocked when it is suggested by many of its northern Virginia neighbors that a private Islamic school supported by the Saudi government (that and 1500 others scattered strategically across this sleeping nation) should be shut down until the U.S. government can ensure the school is not fostering radical Islam. This is not news, for anyone reading this blog knows that the particularly virilent strain of Wahabbism is the code of the road for these Saudi financeers, but what is indeed a bit of uplifting good news is that finally a federal panel has recommended such a closing. Amazing grace!
In a report released Thursday, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom broadly criticized what it calls a lack of religious freedom in Saudi society and promotion of religious extremism at Saudi schools. Particular criticism is leveled at the Islamic Saudi Academy, a private school serving nearly 1,000 students in grades K-12 at two campuses in northern Virginia's Fairfax County.
The commission's report says the academy hews closely to the curriculum used at Saudi schools, which they criticize for promoting hatred of and intolerance against Jews, Christians and Shiite Muslims.
"Significant concerns remain about whether what is being taught at the ISA promotes religious intolerance and may adversely affect the interests of the United States," the report states. Again, none of this is news, except perhaps to George Bush and his left-wing cronies, yes, you read this correctly. The Bushies have aided and abetted the vast left-wing conspiracy to deliver this nation unto the Saudi kingdom without even blinking.
Our national forebearance and patience can be noble and wonderful traits in a people, except when they are not. And this report has finally let the cat out of the bag. How long before the "official" denials start rolling heads?
Now imagine the exact inverse of this scenarioan Amero-fascist school set up in a Muslim dominion, Saudi Arabia for instancefinanced by hidden sources answering the call to duty. Imagine the 'academy' is filled with over 1,000 transplanted Westerners, operatives and patsies who are flush with the most vicious hatred of any and all Muslims, operatives and patsies who are brainwashed with the official propaganda of hatred-spewing 'teachers' and 'religious high priests' aiming to annihilate that Muslim nation and subject that people to Amero-fascist domination and replace all Islamic laws with the US Constitution...
Like I've written many times before in these pages, America is buckling at the knees, and has become the hireling, the paid mercenaries of the Saudi regime. We are owned by those who hold our debt. We have exported our hard industries, crippling our own middle class, and now we must kow tow to our enemies. This must stop. This is the fight we we must fight.
No, this is not happening, not even in hapless Iraq, no thanks to curious George and his black hand of eager beavers.
Imagine, if you can, the immediate consequences of such an operation by American forces. Not a single head would remain on a single set of shoulders. Tongues would have long ago been pulled from mouths with pliers. Eyes would have been gouged out. Genitals would have been mutilated and fed back to the 'students' and 'faculty' of this 'blasphemous' school.
As part of their plans for global takeover, the Saudis have done exactly this. The Saudis have installed not one, but virtually thousands of such academies in the West. In these madrassahs and schools and mosques they regularly enforce ideas of Islamic supremacy among their students, instilling a hatred and contempt for non-Islamic things right in the midst of the non-Islamic West. They teach their children to despise the West, its people, its culture, and to ponder ways to subvert us and our laws, to convert us to Islam, or to subjugate us under Islam. Failing thatto annihilate us in honor of Islam.
There is no moral equivalency here, folks. Don't even try it.
Now, the bad news. The Commission apparently has no official power, but merely advises the State Department and the President, essentially saying what the former are unable to say openly.
Saudi Arabia, was named as a CPC, country of particular concern, in 2004 and targeted by the State Department for action, but after a waiver of 180 days, the State Department continued the waiver explaining a dialogue on matters of concern was in play. The Commission, in its frustration, has issued a recommendation that the State Department report to Congress every 120 days on the progress of their discussions with the Saudis. Translation: Saudi cooperation is not forthcoming and the discussion is probably an exercise in futility.
The Commission's report is some 292 pages, but contains summaries on all countries of concern and is a good guide for understanding the intricacies of the religious makeup, differences and policies within countries.
Like I've written many times before in these pages, America is buckling at the knees, and has become the hireling, the paid mercenaries of the Saudi regime. We are owned by those who hold our debt. We have exported our hard industries, crippling our own middle class, and now we must kow tow to our enemies. This must stop. This is the fight we we must fight.
RIYADH, 4 October 2007Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission (HRC) will urge its counterparts in the European Union to ask their governments not to link terrorism to Islam and also to issue regulations to protect Muslims from prejudice and discrimination because of their faith.
According to a source at HRC, the government-funded rights body will also address various human rights issues in Europe: when Muslims are unjustly interrogated, treated with disrespect, physically or mentally abused, or not allowed to practice their faith freely such as Muslim girls being prevented from wearing the hijab (head cover) in some schools.
The points are expected to be addressed during HRC’s official participation in the Second Arab-European Dialogue on Human Rights and Terrorism, which will take place in Copenhagen October 21-23. “The dialogue is significant because it is being held in Denmark, where the controversy started over the Prophet Muhammad cartoons,” the source told Arab News.
The phony bastards. The following is a composite sketch of what is wrong with this picture.
Here's an idea. Make several quality photocopies of that sign and paste them to the wall outside all of the "Muslim footbath" restrooms in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. They are so disgusted with us that they DEMAND, and are granted their own restrooms. They do this inch by inch as a small minority population. Imagine the future, given problematic Muslim birth rates and the folding chair cultural immune system we place before them. This scenario is about playing for keeps, people. This is not a sensitivity exercise. This is the struggle for dear life against the pernicious Saudi threat.
Remember the signs in the southern U.S. designating "White only" and "Colored only" restrooms, restaurants, drinking fountains? Remember the great pains we as a society endured to eradicate that kind of unjust segregation, the blood spilled, the lives lost, the generations scarred? Remember how difficult it was to dismantle?
The day Saudi Arabia allows passengers to bring in their own religious symbols and the liberty to practice their respective religions in Saudi country, then, and only then will they have the right to initiate a complaint.
Deception or kitman is the only way to describe the Saudi Human Rights Commission's remarks. The notion is laughable, if it weren't so deadly serious. Orwell pegged it on the nose. The world described in "1984" is here in full costume and powers and touches nearly every walk of life around the globe. It is no longer a myth.
Someone from the European Commission should suggest holding an inter-faith prayer sessionwith Jews, Christian, Hindu, Muslim all participatingat the Kaaba in Mecca. Any surprise at the response which would come whistling past the Western press by the Saudis.
Perhaps these so-called oppressed Muslims should flee to Saudi Arabia claiming asylum. People ask why the "peaceful" ones are always complaining. Frankly, it's one of their great talents, historically tested, along with their ability to infiltrate the nations of their enemies, extract concessions from those same enemies, reproduce in huge numbers and expertly play the victim game. Profficiency in all these talents has given this sorry bunch their master race mentality, producing the chutzpah necessary to make such complaints.
No justice without freedom. There is no freedom of religion under Islam. There is no reason to grant freedom to Islam outside of Arabia.
How many around the world wish the the Saudi to choke on their supply of oil right now! There are several arguments, none pleasant, but all quite probable candidates for a revised plan of combat against these treacherous enemies in the years to come.
From the UK, "Use less oil NOW. Use one's car less. Ask yourself daily, do you really need to make that journey? Do you need to make it by car? Unfortunately the US is geared up for car use. I'm from the UK and was surprised in the US about the lack of pavements (sidewalks). In Houston my hotel (Marriott, North Loop W) was about half a mile from the building we were visiting but a bus was laid on for us. I walked one day and, not only did I get strange looks from drivers, but there was no safe place to cross the main road."
Truth. Laziness and the West's love affair with the internal combustion engine are indirectly funding jihadists. But unless our cities ban all cars except those in a modified public transporation system, and unstitute gasoline rationing on a rational basis, there's little hope we active Americansbound and determined to pursue whatever piece of happiness guaranteed by the US Constitution we can grabwill reduce our personal consumption enough to inflict ant damage on our enemies in this regard.
Now, let's be clear about why the Saudi and jihadist argument makes total sense to Muslims...
When one is tutored from birth that there is no other religion but Islam, and no other god but Allah, no sort of distorted view of one's own superiority is hypocrisy. Quite the contrary. It simply makes sense. Of course non-Muslims can't just wander wherever they want to go in Saudi Arabia. But Muslims, as the superior class, designated such by Allah himself, without any critical thinking by similar authority to suggest otherwise, these Muslims in the West find no contrivance in asking to be accommodated anywhere on the planet.
Given those perspectives, whether one is a so-called moderate or a fundamentalist, you will muster the same goal for Islamto advance it and make it the only religion on earth. By any means necessary. Why would they argue any other way? They must be shown otherwise. History shows that only force works on Muslims. It's the way of their holy book.
Saudi Arabia complains that Muslims can't practice their faith freely in Europe. Credit can only be given when credit is due. So here is that nascent road map once again:
Recognize Israel as a sovereign state. Educate your own people to free them from the fetters of Wahhabism. Aallow your women to share equal responsibilities with men, while also granting them freedom to vote and the right to be elected. Allow Christians, Jews and people of different faith to practice their own religion within your borders with liberty and justice for all (yes, we are all working on that one!). Abolish the executions by beheading. Tell your officials to stop distributing pamphlets praising Jihad to pilgrims in Mecca. Learn to spend huge sums of oil-money for the benefit of all mankind and not on funding jihadist madrassas or constructing urinals made of solid gold or 70-80 room palaces for your dynasty.
Then these Saudi royals can talk about prejudice.
Another strategy is equally predictable, and may actually find more public adherants as this Islamic threat gains stronger and more reliable footholds in the West against whom they are warring, that THAT, my friends, is everyone who is not a Muslim, that is to say, a dirty kaffir, in addition to those "moderate" Muslims who need to get off their duff and conduct holy jihad for Allah. That strategy is simply fighting to actually win the war, and to quote another sad poet, by any means necessary:
Perhaps the best alternative to this pending disaster is to embrace the Darwinian laws of nature where the strong rule over the weak. That has always been the true nature of war. What is with this Barbie Doll version of war that's become the contemporary norm? We're militarily stronger than are enemy, once we finally name our enemy. Why don't we just take it? They nationalized us. We forgave them. But this time, it's wat. Yes, that would involve genocide, if we stretch the word from its originally meaning of systematic eradication of a people to the complete and absolute financial and military ruin of a people by strategic means. Yes, civilians may fall to harm's way, but that is what the enemy has already promised us. All war is genocide to a degree.
Of course the third approach is what we all might desire given the blistering alternatives. This is what I call the American faith approach. Patriotic to the core. How about we just develop our own energy resources to fill the gap while we institute a man on the moon type project for developing alternatives? We have the money, we have the ingenuity, so why doesn't our government simply get it done? If Roosevelt/Truman could get us nuclear weapons in 4 years, and Kennedy/Johnson/Nixon could get us to the moon in 8 years, all we need is an inspired leadership.
In fact, the future is now. Let it be known that there is technology available right now to run autos on pure hydrogen with H2O as the only emission (General Motors). Also let it be known that there is more oil under the Canadian Rockies in "oil sand" than in all of the known reserves of the Middle East, Russia, China, and the U.S. combined. Research the Encana Group.
And whether we believe that the "energy shortage" is a myth propagated by those who benefit from the energy addiction we are all part and parcel tonamely Big Oil, or not, to think we can completely abandon oil is very unrealistic; oil will be the best source of energy for quite a while. That means more billions to our enemies. However, there is no reason not to seize the oil fields. These multi-national corporations are piped into the ME and they will continue to sell the stuff to us if we continue to buy it. They won't source their oil from somewhere else because it costs money to redirect all of that infrastructure and they are hardwired to maximize profits in spite of any political agenda. And the Saudis will continue to do what they are doing with our own money. Round and round. Get it? Break up the multi-nationals.
Fund a Manhattan Project to build a hydrogen fuel cell distribution network within five years. Build 50 more nuclear power plantsas opposed to oil or coal and all of the political/environmental detriments to those fuel sources, nuclear is both cleaner AND safer, as long as we don't face internal threats of terrorist cells gunning at us. Deport Muslims who don't pass muster.
Back to the Saudi whining. Since the Islamic Golden Rule only applies to Muslims, fairness isn't involved, and they will not perceive the irony of the situation. They're rip-snorting but slick narcissists, just like Mo. As noted we could always invade Saudi Arabia and seize the oil under the pretext of ending religious discrimination. That's number two in my list. But I prefer number three, as long all as America can self-protect and self-sustain itself while implementing the plan. Bring industry back to the United States.
The world is too large, the people too stupid and greedy, and there is just too many things going wrong with this onece admirable multicultural global village idea now pushing to to the brink of a mutaully assured destruction. Slow down, amigos. Slow down.