Ihe latest batch of attacks by Islamic terrorists raised fresh concerns among Muslims over what they fear may be "heinous attempts" to link terror with Islam. British Muslims, who number 1.6 million (and counting), are reportedly funding advertising campaigns across Britain that proclaim Islam is "the religion of peace"in the process also implicitly warning fellow Britons against criticizing their faith. Yet a year ago, a weighty Muslim writer and pundit, Abdel Rahman Al Rashed, manager of the pan-Arab TV network Al-Arabiya Television, famously launched a stormy debate when he opined, "While all Muslims are not terrorists, all terrorists are now Muslims."
Ever since, the question among Muslim scholars and activists is precisely how much of the terror inspired by Islam is due to the faith itselfand how much is due to the way it is being preached. Clearly, the issue is enormously delicate, fraught with the pitfalls of prejudice and all sorts of other sensitivities. But as hundreds of thousands of people from New York to Baghdad are butchered under Islam's banners, failing to tackle it head-on is unacceptable.
Reasonable Muslims now agree that when a religion veers so far off course, it loses immunity to inquisition. "We ought to go through very serious questioning and soul-searching," a founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Dr. Maher Hathout, wrote on "The American Muslim" Web site Thursday. "How did we, as a group, fail to nip this ugly phenomenon in the bud?" he asks. "How did we indulge in the luxury of theoretical debates, and craft all kinds of euphemisms to let this go on, spill out, and grow?"
The bare facts are there for all to see: Over the past 40 years or so, Islam's millions of fanatical preachers and political operatives have represented the religion as one of an "oppressed" people, victimized for centuries by the multiple ogres of Christianity, Judaism, and secularism. Listen to many preachers, read several interpretations of the Muslim holy book, or go to a variety of madrassas from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, and you will quickly learn that Islam's central value, bar none, is jihad.
Far from a religion of peace, these clerics have "weaponized" Islam's text and the Koran into a war manifesto against even fellow Muslimsas between Shiites and Sunnis.
Iaising the bar further, most Muslim scholarship of today maintains the refrain that Islam is not meant to be another religion, but the most definitive of God's revelations to man. As Muslim children are told daily, the Prophet Muhammad is not only the last of God's prophets, but the most authoritative. Thus, it follows that Muslims merit greater privilege. A Muslim, for example, may take any number of non-Muslim wives, but the reverse is illegal. Abandoning Islam is punishable by jail or death. No other religion is acceptable.
The next step in such a logical progression is clearly the necessity to force others to submit. Islam has become imbued with a kind of droit du seigneurthe extrajudicial, absolute rights of a lord of the manorwhich cannot be argued with. Saudis, for exampleand this includes their most moderate and modernized leadersfeel it is perfectly natural to fund the building of hundreds of mosques in Europe, from London to Cologne, but cannot find a shred of logic in allowing the construction of a single church or Buddhist temple in Saudi Arabia, even though millions of Christian and Asian expatriates work there.
The scholarly journeys down such roads have served to legitimize the excessive aggression in hundreds of the religious edicts issued weekly by both legitimate and rogue Muslim scholarsincluding the charlatans of Al Qaeda, who decree that killing infidels is a Muslim duty.
A Saudi expert on Islamic movements, Mshari Al Zaydi, who is the opinion page editor of the Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat, went to the heart of the matter in a remarkable essay a few days ago, in which he pointedly noted that Saudi religious leaders have never issued an outright renunciation of the religious thinking of Osama bin Laden.
The most the Saudi religious establishment has done, Mr. Zaydi wrote, is to "mildly state that Mr. bin Laden was simply an ‘erroneous mujtahid,'"a term referring to those qualified to issue juridical opinions and edicts such as fatwas"as though this man was not responsible for setting the Muslim world ablaze, taking it back centuries and much farther than its original backwardness." In Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco, the Muslim Brotherhood contests for power based on a single slogan: "Islam is the solution."
Could it be that their version of Islam is also the problem?
And precisely what version is that? A version modified to simply update the list of "given names" the infidel now goes by so as to include the United Staes, throwing in for good measure, that the US is the Great Satan (an idea shared by the hard Left in the West, if only they dared to use the "religious" language which they detest in their own backyard but rush to protect in their adopted allies in the Middle East as they move westward and upward towards demographic impulse to bring Sharia law into town). Ibrahim writes as if Islamic terror has just become manifest in the last 40 years.
As another commenter has put it, "He is like Daniel Pipes in that he (seems) to think that there is some benign, even good, Islam that exists. It is just the preaching that is the problem! Islam has veered off course! These preachers have 'weaponized' the text! Al Qaeda are charlatans!"
But the cat is out of the bag now. The voices are plain and clear that this is just not the case. Robert Spencer, Ali Sina, Ibn Warraq, Andrew Bostom, Bat Ye'or, Serge Trifkovic, Brigitte Gabriel, and Hugh Fitzgerald among others, have outlined the stress and strain of falsehood betraying that interpretation, pointing out in excrutiating detail that Islam has ALWAYS been murderous, following the example of Muhammad himself.
The religion of peace under Islam, if there was ever any truth to it, rests only in the historical account of Muhammed taming the competing tribes of the Wild Deserts of his own time and geography. Things drastically changed. Now Islam has a long history of attack, pillage, subjugation, and tyranny. Peace by the sword always proceeds in the fashion.
Just ask the tens of millions of Hindus slaughtered by Muslims following the example of Muhammad starting in the 11th century.
So, it this simply more taqiyya coming from the Muslims, or a turning tide?