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Archive for July, 2010

The Religion of Peace: Myths of Islam

Posted by paulipoldie on July 30, 2010

The Myths of Islam

The Religion of Peace

Muslims often complain of the popular “misconceptions” about their religion in the West.

We took a hard look, however, and found that the most deeply held myths of Islam are the ones generated by Muslims and Western apologists.  The only glaring exception to this is the misconception that all Muslims are alike (they aren’t, of course), but even Muslims fall into this as well, as evidenced by the various contrary factions insisting that they are the true Muslims, while those who disagree with them are either infidels, hijackers, or hypocrites.

Don’t be fooled!  Hear the myths, but know the truth.
Islam Means ‘Peace’

Islam respects Women as Equals

Jihad Means ‘Inner Struggle’

Islam is a Religion of Peace

Islam is Tolerant of Other Religions

Islam Facilitated a ‘Golden Age’ of Scientific Discovery

Islam is Opposed to Slavery

Islam is Incompatible with Terrorism

Islam is a Democracy

The Qur’an is the Muslim Counterpart to the Bible

Islam Means ‘Peace’

The Myth:

Lesser educated Muslims sometimes claim that the root word of Islam is “al-Salaam,” which is “peace” in Arabic.

The Truth:

An Arabic word only has one root.  The root word for Islam is “al-Silm,” which means “submission” or “surrender.”  There is no controversy about this among Islamic scholars. al-Silm (submission) does not mean the same thing as al-Salaam (peace), otherwise they would be the same word.

Submission and peace can be very different concepts, even if a form of peace is often brought about through forcing others into submission.  As the modern-day Islamic scholar, Ibrahim Sulaiman, puts it, “Jihad is not inhumane, despite its necessary violence and bloodshed, its ultimate desire is peace which is protected and enhanced by the rule of law.”

In truth, the Qur’an not only calls Muslims to submit to Allah, it also commands them to subdue people of other religions until they are in a full state of submission to Islamic rule.  This has inspired the aggressive history of Islam and its success in conquering other cultures.

Islam Respects Women as Equals

The Myth:

The Qur’an places men and women on equal foundation before Allah.  Each person is judged according to his or her own deeds.  Women have equal rights under Islamic law.

The Truth:

Merely stating that individuals will be judged as such by Allah does not mean that they have equal rights and roles, or that they are judged by the same standards.

There is no ambiguity in the Qur’an, the life of Muhammad, or Islamic law as to the inferiority of women to men, despite the efforts of modern-day apologists to salvage Western-style feminism from scraps and fragments of verses that have historically held no such progressive interpretation.

After military conquests, Muhammad would dole out captured women as war prizes to his men.  In at least one case, he advocated that they be raped in front of their husbands.  Captured women were made into sex slaves by the very men who killed their husbands and brothers.  There are four Qur’anic verses in which “Allah” makes clear that a Muslim master has full sexual access to his female slaves, yet there is not one that prohibits rape.

The Qur’an gives Muslim men permission to beat their wives for disobedience.  It plainly says that husbands are “a degree above” wives.  The Hadith says that women are intellectually inferior, and that they comprise the majority of Hell’s occupants.

Under Islamic law, a man may divorce his wife at the drop of a hat.  If he does this twice, then wishes to remarry her, she must first have sex with another man.  Men are exempt from such degradations.

Muslim women are not free to marry whomever they please, as are Muslim men.  Their husband may also bring other wives (and slaves) into the marriage bed.  And she must be be sexually available to him at any time (as a field ready to be “tilled,” according to the holy book of Islam).

Muslim women do not inherit property in equal portions to males.  Their testimony in court is considered to be worth only half that of a man’s.  Unlike a man, she must cover her head – and often her face.

If a woman wants to prove that she was raped, then there must be four male witnesses to corroborate her account.  Otherwise she can be jailed or stoned to death for confessing to “adultery.”

Given all of this, it is quite a stretch to say that men and women have “equality under Islam” based on obscure theological analogies or comparisons.  This is an entirely new ploy that may be designed for modern tastes, but is in sharp disagreement with the reality of Islamic law and history.

Further Reading from the Qur’an:

Women Worth Less than Men
Proving Rape under Islamic Law
Divorce – A Man’s Prerogative
Men in Charge of Women

Jihad Means ‘Inner Struggle’

The Myth:

Islam’s Western apologists sometimes claim that since the Arabic word, Jihad, literally means “fight” or “struggle,” it refers to an “inner struggle” rather than holy war.

The Truth:

This is extremely difficult to reconcile with the Qur’an, which, for example, exempted the disabled and elderly from Jihad (4:95).  This would make no sense if the word is being used merely within the context of spiritual struggle.  It is also unclear why Muhammad would use graphic language, such as smiting fingers and heads from the hands and necks of unbelievers if he were speaking merely of character development.

With this in mind, Muslims generally admit that there are two meanings to the word, but insist that “inner struggle” is the “greater Jihad,” whereas “holy war” is the “lesser.”  In fact, this misconception is based only on an a single hadith that is extremely weak and unreliable.

By contrast, the most reliable of all Hadith collections is that of Bukhari.  The word, Jihad, is mentioned over 200 times in reference to the words of Muhammad and each one is a clear connotation to holy war, with only a handful of possible exceptions (dealing with a woman’s supporting role during a time of holy war).

Further Reading:

The Greater-Lesser Jihad Myth (from a Muslim Source)

Islam is a Religion of Peace

The Myth:

Muhammad was a peaceful man who taught his followers to be the same.  Muslims lived peacefully for centuries, fighting only in self-defense – and when it was necessary.  True Muslims would never act aggressively.

The Truth:

Muhammad organized 65 military campaigns in the last ten years of his life and personally led 27 of them.  The more power that he attained, the smaller the excuse needed to go to battle, until finally he began attacking tribes merely because they were not part of his growing empire.

After Muhammad’s death, his most faithful followers and even his own family turned on each other almost immediately.  There were four Caliphs (leaders) in the first twenty-five years, each of which was a trusted companion of his.  Three of these four were murdered.  The third Caliph was murdered by the son of the first.  The fourth Caliph was murdered by the fifth, who left a 100-year dynasty that was ended in a gruesome, widespread bloodbath by descendents of Muhammad’s uncle.

Muhammad’s own daughter, Fatima, and his son-in-law, Ali, who both survived the pagan hardship during the Meccan years safe and sound, did not survive Islam after the death of Muhammad.  Fatima died of stress from persecution within three months, and Ali was later assassinated by Muslim rivals.  Their son (Muhammad’s grandson) was killed in battle with the faction that became today’s Sunnis.  His people became Shias.  The relatives and personal friends of Muhammad were mixed into both warring groups, which then fractured further into hostile sub-divisions as Islam expanded.

Muslim apologists who like to say that is impossible for today’s terrorists to be Muslim when they kill fellow Muslims would have a very tough time explaining the war between Fatima and Aisha to a knowledgeable audience.  Muhammad’s favorite daughter and his favorite wife were both explicitly held up by him as model Muslim women before they engaged in violent battle following his death.  Which one was the prophet of God so horribly wrong about?

Muhammad left his men with instructions to take the battle against Christians, Persians, Jews and polytheists (which came to include millions of unfortunate Hindus).  For the next four centuries, Muslim armies steamrolled over unsuspecting neighbors, plundering them of loot and slaves, and forcing the survivors to either convert or pay tribute at the point of a sword.

Companions of Muhammad lived to see Islam declare war on every major religion in the world in just the first few decades following his death – pressing the Jihad against Hindus, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and Buddhists.

By the time of the Crusades (when the Europeans began fighting back), Muslims had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world by sword, from Syria to Spain, and across North Africa.

Millions of Christians were enslaved by Muslims, and tens of millions of Africans.  The Arab slave-trading routes would stay open for 1300 years, until pressure from Christian-based countries forced Islamic nations to declare the practice illegal (in theory).  To this day, the Muslim world has never apologized for the victims of Jihad and slavery.

There is not another religion in the world that consistently produces terrorism in the name of religion as does Islam.  The most dangerous Muslims are nearly always those who interpret the Qur’an most transparently.  They are the fundamentalists or purists of the faith, and believe in Muhammad’s mandate to spread Islamic rule by the sword, putting to death those who will not submit.

The holy texts of Islam are saturated with verses of violence and hatred toward those outside the faith.  In sharp contrast to the Bible, which generally moves from relatively violent episodes to far more peaceful mandates, the Qur’an travels the exact opposite path (violence is first forbidden, then permitted, then mandatory).  The handful of earlier verses that speak of tolerance are overwhelmed by an avalanche of later ones that carry a much different message.  While Old Testament verses of blood and guts are generally bound by historical context within the text itself, Qur’anic imperatives to violence usually appear open-ended and subject to personal interpretation.

By any objective measure, the “Religion of Peace” has been the harshest, bloodiest religion the world has ever known.

Further Reading:

The Life of Muhammad: An Inconvenient Truth
Muslim Terror from 9/11 through 2003
Muslim Terror in 2004
Muslim Terror in 2005
Muslim Terror in 2006
Muslim Terror in 2007
In the Name of Allah

Islam is Tolerant of Other Religions

The Myth:

Religious minorities have flourished under Islam.  Muslims are commanded to protect Jews and Christians (the People of the Book) and to do them no harm. The Qur’an says in Sura 109, “To you, your religion.  To me, mine.”

The Truth:

Religious minorities have not “flourished” under Islam.  In fact, they have dwindled to mere shadows after centuries of persecution and discrimination.  Some were converted from their native religion by brute force, others under the agonizing strain of dhimmitude.

What Muslims call “tolerance,” others correctly identify as institutionalized discrimination.  The consignment of Jews and Christians to dhimmis under Islamic rule means that they are not allowed the same religious rights and freedoms as Muslims.  They cannot share their faith, for example, or build houses of worship without permission.

Historically, dhimmis have often had to wear distinguishing clothing or cut their hair in a particular manner that indicates their position of inferiority and humiliation.  They do not share the same legal rights as Muslims, and must even pay a poll tax (the jizya).  They are to be killed or have their children taken from them if they cannot satisfy the tax collector’s requirements.

For hundreds of years, the Christian population in occupied Europe had their sons taken away and forcibly converted into Muslim warriors (known as Jannisaries) by the Ottoman Turks.

It is under this burden of discrimination and third-class status that so many converted to Islam over the centuries.  Those who didn’t often faced economic and social hardships that persist to this day and are appalling by Western standards of true religious tolerance and pluralism.

For those who are not “the People of the Book,” such as Hindus and atheists, there is very little tolerance to be found once Islam establishes political superiority.  The Qur’an tells Muslims to “fight in the way of Allah” until “religion is only for Allah.”  The conquered populations face death if they do not establish regular prayer and charity in the Islamic tradition (ie. the pillars of Islam).

Tamerlane and other Muslim warriors slaughtered tens of millions of Hindus and Buddhists, as well as displacing or forcibly converting millions more over the last thousand years.  Islamists in Somalia behead Christians.  In Iran, they are jailed.

One of the great ironies of Islam is that non-Muslims are to be treated according to the very standards by which Muslims themselves would claim the right to violent self-defense were the shoe on the other foot.  Islam is its own justification.  Most Muslims therefore feel no need to question the ingrained arrogance and double standards.

At best, the “religion of peace” has a dual personality toward other religions.  In some places they are explicitly cursed by Allah, in others there appears to be a measure of tolerance shown.  There are about 500 verses in the Qur’an that speak of Allah’s hatred for non-Muslims and the punishment that he has prepared for their unbelief.  There is also a tiny handful that say otherwise, but these are mostly earlier verses that many scholars consider to be abrogated by the later, more violent ones.

As for Sura 109, any true Qur’an scholar will point out that the purpose of the verse was to distinguish Islam from the gods of the Quraysh (of which one was named “Allah”) rather than to advocate religious tolerance for non-Muslims.  At the time that he narrated this very early verse, Muhammad did not have any power, and thus no choice but to be “tolerant” of others.  By contrast, there was no true tolerance shown when he returned to Mecca with power many years later and demanded that anyone who would not convert to Islam be evicted from the city or put to the sword (see Sura 9).

If tolerance simply means discouraging the mass slaughter of those of a different faith, then today’s Islam generally meets this standard more often than not.  But, if tolerance means allowing people of other faiths the same religious liberties that Muslims enjoy, then Islam is fundamentally the most intolerant religion under the sun.

Islam and the “Golden Age” of Scientific Discovery

The Myth:

Muslims often claim that their religion fostered a rich heritage of scientific discovery, “paving the way” for modern advances in technology and medicine.  On this topic, they usually refer to the period between the 7th and 13th centuries, when Europe was experiencing its “Dark Ages” and the Muslim world was conquering new populations and culture.

The Truth:

Although there is no arguing that the Muslim world was relatively more advanced during this period than the “Christian” world, the reasons for this have absolutely nothing to do with the Islamic religion (other than its mandate for military expansion).  In fact, the religion actively discourages knowledge outside of itself, which is why the most prolific Muslim scholars throughout history tend to be students of religion rather than science.

There are four basic reasons why Islam has little true claim to scientific achievement:

First, the Muslim world benefited greatly from the Greek sciences, which were translated for them by Christians and Jews.  To their credit, Muslims did a better job of preserving Greek text than did the Europeans of the time and this became the foundation for their own knowledge.  (One large reason for this, however, was that access by Christians to this part of their world was cut off by Muslim slave ships and coastal raids that dominated the Mediterranean during this period).

Secondly, many of the scientific advances credited to Islam were actually “borrowed” from other cultures conquered by the Muslims.  The algebraic concept of “zero”, for example, is erroneously attributed to Islam, but it was, in fact, a Hindu discovery that was merely introduced to the West by Muslims.

In fact, conquered populations contributed greatly to the history of “Muslim science” until gradually being decimated by conversion to Islam (under the pressures of dhimmitude).  The Muslim concentration within a population is directly proportional to the decline of scientific achievement.  It is no accident that the Muslim world has had little to show for itself in the last 800 years or so, since running out of new civilizations to cannibalize.

Third, even the great Muslim scientists and icons were often considered heretics in their time, sometimes for good reason.  One of the greatest achievers to come out of the Muslim world was the Persian scientist and philosopher, al-Razi.  His impressive works are often held up today as “proof” of Muslim accomplishment.  But what the apologists often leave out is that al-Razi was denounced as a blasphemer, since he followed his own religious beliefs – which were in obvious contradiction to traditional Islam.

Fourth, even the contributions that are attributed to Islam (often inaccurately) are not terribly dramatic.  There is the invention of certain words, such as alchemy and elixir, but not much else that survives in modern technology that is of any practical significance.  Neither is there any reason to believe that such discoveries would not have easily been made by the West following the cultural awakening triggered by the Reformation.

As an example of this, consider that Muslims claim credit for coffee, since the beans were discovered in Africa (at the time, an important venue for Islamic slave trading) and first processed in the Middle East.  While this is true, it is also true that the red dye used in many food products, from cranberry juice to candy, comes from the abdomen of a particular female beetle found in South America.  It is extremely unlikely that the West would not have stumbled across coffee by now (although, to be fair, coffee probably expedited subsequent discoveries).

In fact, the litany of “Muslim” achievement often takes the form of rhapsody, in which the true origins of these discoveries are omitted – along with their comparative significance to Western achievement.  One often doesn’t hear about the dismal fate of original accomplishments either.  Those who brag about the great observatory of Taqi al-Din in [freshly conquered] Istanbul, for example, often neglect to mention that it was quickly destroyed by the caliphate.

At the end of the day, scientific, medical and technological accomplishment is not something over which Muslim apologists want to get into a pissing contest with the Christian world.  Today’s Islamic innovators are primarily known for turning Western technology, such as cell phones and airplanes, into instruments of mass murder.

To sum up, although the Islamic religion is not entirely hostile to science, neither should it be confused as a facilitator.  The great achievements that are said to have come out of the Islamic world were made either by non-Muslims who happened to be under Islamic rule, or by heretics who usually had little interest in Islam.  Scientific discovery tapers off dramatically as Islam asserts dominance, until it eventually peters out altogether.

Islam is Opposed to Slavery

The Myth:

Islam is intolerant of enslaving human beings.  The religion eradicated the institution of slavery thanks to the principles set in motion by Muhammad, who was an abolitionist.

The Truth:

There is not the least bit of intolerance for slavery anywhere in the Qur’an.  In fact, the “holy” book of Islam explicitly gives slave-owners the freedom to sexually exploit their slaves – not just in one place, but in at least four separate Suras.  Islamic law is littered with rules concerning the treatment of slaves, some of which are relatively humane, but none that prohibit the actual practice by any stretch.

The very presence of these rules condones and legitimizes the institution of slavery.  Adding to this is the fact that Muhammad was an avid slave trader.  After providing ample evidence of his activities according to the most reliable Muslim biographers, the Center of the Study of Political Islam summarizes its findings:

Muhammad captured slaves, sold slaves, bought slaves as gifts of pleasure, received slaves as gifts, and used slaves for work.  The Sira is exquisitely clear on the issue of slavery. (Muhammad and the Unbelievers: a Political Life)

Even the very pulpit from which Muhammad preached Islam was built by slave labor on his command!

As such, this deeply dehumanizing horror has been a ubiquitous tradition of Islam since the days of Muhammad to the current plight of non-Muslims in the Sudan, Mali, Niger and Mauritania, as well as other parts of the Muslim world.

There has never been an abolitionary movement within Islam (just as the religion produces no organized resistance to present-day enslavement).  The abolition of slavery was imposed on the Islamic world by European countries, along with other political pressures that were entirely unrelated to Islamic law.

Although horrible abuses of slaves in the Muslim world were recorded, there has been little inclination toward the documentation and earnest contrition that one finds in the West.  The absence of a guilty Muslim conscience often leads to the mistaken impression that slavery was not as bad under Islam… when it is actually indicative of the explicit tolerance the religion has for this practice

So narcissistic is the effect of Islam on the devoted, that to this day many Muslims believe in their hearts that the women and children carried off in battle, and their surviving men folk, were actually done a favor by the Muslim warriors who plucked them from their fields and homes and relegated them to lives of demeaning servitude.

Shame and apology, no matter how appropriate, are almost never to be found in Dar al-Islam.  Caliphs, the religious equivalent of popes, maintained harems of hundreds, sometimes thousands of young girls and women captured from lands as far away as Europe and consigned to sexual slavery.  Hungarians were hunted like animals by the Turks, who carried 3 million into slavery over a 150 year period in the 1500-1600’s.  In India, 200,000 Hindus were captured and transported to Iranian slave markets in just a two year span (1619-1620) by one of the kinder Muslim rulers.

African slaves were often castrated by their Muslim masters.  Few survived to reproduce, which is why there are not many people of African descent living in the Middle East, even though more slaves were taken out of Africa in the 1300 years of Arab slave trading than in the 300 years of European slavery.  The 400,000 slaves brought to America, for example, have now become a community of 30 million, with a much higher standard of living than their African peers.

There is no William Wilberforce or Bartoleme de las Casas in Islamic history as there is in Christianity.  When asked to produce the name of a Muslim abolitionist, apologists sometimes meekly suggest Muhammad himself.  But, if a slave owner and trader, who commanded the capture and sexual exploitation of slaves, and left a 13-century legacy of divinely-sanctioned slavery, is the best that Islam can offer, then no amount of sophistry will be enough to convince any but the most ignorant.

Further Reading:

Slavery in Islam (TROP)
Slavery in Islam (Answering Islam site)

Islam is Completely Incompatible with Terrorism

The Myth:

Islam is completely incompatible with acts of terrorism.  It is against Islam to kill innocent people.

The Truth:

Even though many Muslims earnestly believe that their religion prohibits the killing of innocent people by acts of terrorism, the truth is certainly more complicated.  This is why the Jihadis and their detractors are both able to point fingers at the other, while confidently insisting that they are the true Muslims.  It is also why organizations that commit horrible atrocities in the name of Allah, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, receive moral and financial support from mainstream Muslims and Islamic charities.

In fact, the definition of an “innocent person” is far more ambiguous in Islam than Muslim apologists want others to know.  So, also, is the definition of terrorism.

First, consider that anyone who rejects Muhammad is not considered to be innocent under Islamic law.  The most protected and respected of all non-Muslims are the dhimma, the “people of the book.”  These would specifically be Jews and Christians who agree to Islamic rule and pay the jizya (tribute to Muslims).  Yet, the word “dhimmi” comes from the Arabic root meaning “guilt” or “blame.”  [“…the dhimmi parent and sister words mean both ‘to blame’ as well as safeguards that can be extended to protect the blameworthy” Amitav Ghosh, In an Antique Land]

So, if even the dhimma have a measure of guilt attached to their status (by virtue of having rejected Allah’s full truth), then how can non-Muslims who oppose Islamic rule or refuse to pay the jizya be considered “innocent?”

Within the Islamic community itself there is a category of Muslims who are also said to bear guilt – greater even than the average non-believer.  These are the hypocrites, or “Munafiqin,” whom Muhammad referred to in the most derogatory terms.  A hypocrite is considered to be a Muslim in name only.  They are distinguished either by an unwillingness to wage holy war or by an intention to corrupt the community of believers.

When Muslims kill Muslims in the name of Allah (which occurs quite frequently), they usually do so believing that their victims are Munafiqin or kafir (unbelievers).  This is actually a part of Islamic Law known as takfir, in which Muslims are declared apostates and then executed.  (A true Muslim would go to paradise anyway, in which case he or she could hardly be expected to nurse a grudge amidst the orgy of sex and wine).

In addition to the murky definition of innocence, there is also the problem of distinguishing terrorism from holy war.  Islamic terrorists never refer to themselves as terrorists, but always as holy warriors (Mujahideen, Shahid, or Fedayeen).  They consider their acts to be a form of Jihad.

Holy war is something that Muhammad commanded in the Qur’an and Hadith.  In Sura 9:29, he establishes the principle that unbelievers should be fought until they either convert to Islam or accept a state of humiliation under Islamic subjugation.  This is confirmed in the Hadith by both Sahih Muslim and Bukhari.

In many places, the prophet of Islam says that Jihad is the ideal path for a Muslim, and that believers should “fight in the way of Allah.”  There are dozens of open-ended passages in the Qur’an that exhort killing and fighting – far more than ones of peace and tolerance.  It is somewhat naïve to think that their inclusion in this “eternal discourse between God and Man” was of historical value only and not intended to be relevant to present-day believers, particularly when there is little to nothing within the text that distinguishes them in such fashion.

Combine the Qur’anic exhortation to holy war with the ambiguity of innocence, and a monumental problem develops that cannot be patched by mere semantics.  Not only is there a deep tolerance for violence in Islam, but also a sharp disagreement and lack of clarity over the conditions that justify this violence… and just whom the targets may be.

Even many Muslims who claim to be against terrorism still support the “insurgency” in Iraq, for example, and often entertain the allegation that there is a broader “war against Islam.”  Although American troops in Iraq are trying to protect innocent life and help the country rebuild, Muslims around the world and in the West believe that it is legitimate for Sunnis and Shias to try and kill them.

Enjoying the sanction of holy war, the Mujahid reasons that it is permissible to attack fellow Iraqis – the ones helping the Americans… even if they are part of a democratically-elected Iraqi government.  These non-combatants and combatants alike are believed to be the “Munafiqin” or “Takfir” assisting the enemy “Crusaders.”

Although we use Iraq as an example here, this is the same rationale that is ultimately behind all Islamic terror, from the Philippines to Thailand.  Wherever the religion of Islam is a minority, there are always radicals who believe that violence is justified in bringing it to dominance – just as Muhammad taught by example in places like Mecca and the land of al-Harith.

And what of the so-called “innocents” who suffer from the bombings and shootings?  Even in Muhammad’s time they were unavoidable.  The much-touted hadith in which Muhammad forbade the killing of women also indicates that there were such casualties in his conflicts.

If there is any doubt that he believed that the forbidden is sometimes necessary, it should be put to rest by an incident in which Muhammad’s men warned him that a planned night raid against an enemy camp would mean that women and children would be killed.  He merely replied “they are of them,” meaning the men.

This is the slippery slope that is opened by the sanction of holy war.  What starts out as the perception of a noble cause of self-defense against a supposed threat gradually devolves into a “let Allah sort them out” campaign through a series of logical steps that are ultimately justified by the sublime goal of Islamic rule.

Islam is not intended to co-exist as an equal with other religions.  It is to be the dominant religion, with Sharia as the supreme law.  Islamic rule is to be extended to the ends of the earth, and resistance is to be dealt with by any means necessary.

Apologists in the West often shrug off the Qur’an’s many verses of violence by saying that they are only relevant in a “time of war.”

To this, Islamic terrorists would agree.  They are at war.

Islam is a Democracy

The Myth:

Islam is compatible with democratic principles.  The religion itself is a democracy.

The Truth:

A democracy is a system in which all people are judged as equals before the law, regardless of race, religion or gender.  The vote of every individual counts as much as the vote of any other.  The collective will of the people then determines the rules of society.

Under Islamic law, only Muslim males enjoy full rights.  The standing of a woman is often half that of a man’s – sometimes even less.  Non-Muslims have no standing with a Muslim.

The Islamic state is guided by Islamic law, derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah.  A body of clerics interprets the law and applies it to all circumstances social, cultural and political.  The people are never to be placed above the Qur’an and Sunnah any more than man should be above Allah.

It is somewhat debatable as to whether there are any states in the Muslim world that qualify as actual democracies.  There is no denying, however, that the tiny handful that are often held up as democratic nations are ones in which deep tension exists between the government and religious leaders, as the later often complain that it is an idolatrous system imposed on them.

Islam does not facilitate democracy.

Further Reading:

Democracy and Islam
Loyalty to a Non-Muslim Government

The Qur’an is the Muslim Counterpart to the Bible

The Myth:

The Qur’an is to Muslims what the Bible is to Christians (and the Torah to Jews).

The Truth:

The Qur’an only contains what is presented as the literal words of Allah – as relayed by Muhammad.  It can be compared to a manufactured text that includes only the words of Jesus (the so-called “red-letter” verses) extracted from their New Testament historical context and then randomly mixed together (the chapters of the Qur’an are arranged by size and themes are rarely consistent even within each chapter).

By contrast, the Bible contains history and biographical detail.  For example, there is nothing in the Qur’an that details Muhammad’s life, whereas the Bible contains four gospels that present all that is known about the biography of Jesus.  Another distinction is that when the Bible commands violence (as it does in a handful of Old Testament verses) the intended target is explicitly defined within the passage, leaving little doubt that it is a recounting of history and not an open-ended command for anyone else to do the same.

Despite the rhapsody with which Muslims sing the Qur’an’s praises, there is an obvious reason why only a minority have actually bothered to delve deeper than an occasional sporadic perusal through its pages.  The random arrangement of verses and near absence of context makes it difficult to understand.  For this reason the Qur’an is rarely printed without the incorporation of voluminous commentary (that usually expresses the personal preferences of the translator).

In fact, the Muslim counterpart to the Bible is the Qur’an, Hadith and Sira combined.

The Hadith is a collection of anecdotes and historical accounts of Muhammad’s life based on the relayed narrations of those who lived with him. Unfortunately, authenticity varies.  But the most dependable compilers are agreed by Muslims scholars to be Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, followed by Abu Dawud. It is on the Hadith that Islamic law (Sharia) is based.

The Sira is the biography of Muhammad’s life. Again, there are reliability issues which would appear somewhat bewildering to Christians, given that the gospels were well in place within the first few centuries following the crucifixion – which preceded Muslim history by over 600 years.  Still, the most reliable biography of Muhammad was compiled by Ibn Ishaq, who wrote about 150 years after his death.  His original work survives only in what was “edited” by a later translator (Ibn Hisham, who admitted that he filtered out several accounts that were of a distasteful nature).

A failure to recognize that the Bible is only comparable to the Qur’an, Hadith and Sira together often leads to faulty accusation and misplaced analysis.

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Modernity and the Muslims

Posted by paulipoldie on July 29, 2010

Paul Berman, Judith Miller, Fred Siegel, Lee Smith, Ibn Warraq

A transcript of a discussion at St. Francis College
15 July 2010

FRANK J. MACCHIAROLA: I would like to welcome you and the people from the Manhattan Institute to St. Francis College. First, I will introduce Fred Siegel, our visiting professor. He has been at the Manhattan Institute, is a contributing editor of City Journal, and is a fantastic addition to our faculty. We’re really grateful to have him. And we’re really grateful for the support of the Manhattan Institute, which, as many of you know, is a wonderful organization, trying to advance questions of public policy, sometimes from a conservative perspective; but as a Blue Dog Democrat, I have no trouble affiliating myself with anything that the Manhattan Institute does.

FRED SIEGEL: Islam, like any other religious tradition, comprises a variety of strands. Understanding Islam is made all the more difficult because Islam does not distinguish between a ritual law in the Western sense, ethics, and good manners. I hope that we will distinguish a bit of that now. But, painting in broad strokes, it’s fair to say that tension between the Arab Islamic world and the liberal versions of modernity is one of the central issues, if not the central issue, of our era.

It’s not that the Middle East has been hostile to all versions of modernity; at different times, Fascism and Communism have taken hold among Arab and Islamic intellectuals and political leaders. In the case of Iran, it was Khomeinists and Communists who came together to overthrow the Shah in 1979. The issue of Islam, Arabism, and modernity is directly and indirectly the subject of three new books, whose authors we have with us here. Whatever their failings, their courage and their intelligence are undeniable. These new books are intellectually interconnected, each dealing with the same issue of Islam and modernity, but from three strikingly different perspectives. One perspective is theological, one is ideological, and one is anthropological. I’m not going to label which is which, but keep those three strands in mind as you’re listening. I think it will make sense of what they’re arguing.

Let me first introduce Paul Berman, who is a writer in residence at NYU. He writes about literature and politics for The New Republic, Slate, and the New York Times. He has written a book about modern totalitarianism called Terror and Liberalism. He has written a two-volume history of the generation of 1968, A Tale of Two Utopias and Power and the Idealists, with a preface written by Undersecretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Mr. Berman’s new book, The Flight of the Intellectuals, has just been published, and St. Francis is the first venue where it will be publicly discussed. The timing of his book is particularly apt because the subject of The Flight of the Intellectuals is the Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who recently spoke, with great fanfare, at the Great Hall of Cooper Union. Ramadan’s approach has been to Islamize modernity rather than modernize Islam.

The second speaker, Lee Smith, is the author of The Strong Horse, which came out a few weeks ago and got a very nice review in the New York Times. Mr. Smith has contributed to The Tablet—a new and worthwhile publication where he writes the “Agents of Influence” column—The Weekly Standard, The New Republic, Slate, and many others. Originally from New York, Mr. Smith moved to the Middle East after 9/11, living in Cairo and Beirut. He now makes his home in Washington, D.C., where he is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute.

Ibn Warraq is a senior fellow at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York. He is the author of five books on Islamic and Koranic issues, including The Origins of the Koran, What the Koran Really Says, and the forthcoming Which Koran, all from Prometheus Books. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and City Journal. He has addressed distinguished bodies all over the world, including the United Nations in Geneva and the members of the Dutch Parliament in The Hague. Ibn Warraq’s book Defending the West has been described as “a glorious work of scholarship.” His new book, due out shortly, is entitled Virgins? What Virgins?

The fourth member of our panel is the famed journalist Judith Miller. She will comment on the three presentations. Ms. Miller is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, formerly with the New York Times and now a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a commentator on Fox News. She has written extensively on the Middle East and on the dangers of biological and germ warfare. Her 1996 book, God Has 99 Names, was an eye-opening work.

LEE SMITH: It’s a pleasure to be on this panel. I lived in this neighborhood, near heavily Arab Atlantic Avenue for about a decade and a half; not surprisingly, this is where I first became interested in the Middle East. I moved to Cairo after 9/11. I was there for about a year, returned to Brooklyn, and then moved to Beirut. Lebanon is a particularly important place to me, and it features prominently in my book.

Fred Siegel was talking about modernism. In Lebanon, what we saw and continue to see is real conflict between what I would consider the forces of a positive modernity, in terms of the pro-democracy March 14 movement—a positive manifestation of Arab/Islamic modernity—and its enemy Hezbollah. This is a place where you see most clearly these two different versions of modernity, the liberal and the antiliberal.

I tried to write not so much about Islam in my book for a number of reasons. Some have argued that political Islam is a deviant form of Islam, not the true traditional Islam. That’s not a discussion that I want to get involved with. That is an argument that has gone on in the Middle East in the Muslim world for 1,400 years. What’s the real Islam? Is it the Sunni Orthodox version, or is it the Shi’a version? Wouldn’t the world look better if the Shi’a version of the world were true and if the hidden Shi’a imam returned? Instead I wanted to draw a picture of how we got to where we are now.

It starts in the beginning of the nineteenth century as a reaction to Napoleon’s 1798 invasion of Egypt. It was then that Muslim activists, ideologues, and journalists—very interesting people, such as Muhammad Abduh and Jamal al-Din Afghani, the founder of contemporary Islamism—come to the fore. These men, like the subjects of Mr. Berman’s book—Tariq Ramadan and Hassan al-Banna—are all products of Islamic modernism; they were part of what can be discussed. Another way to think of it is in terms of an Islamic reformation. The Strong Horse provides a history of this particular movement, and to say that it is not deviant is a legitimate, serious intellectual current.

No one has taken this intellectual current more seriously than Paul Berman. I trust that he will talk about that during his presentation. The reason that I didn’t want to talk about Islam so much is that I now live in Washington, and I hear the way a lot of people talk about policy. I knew a lot of people in the Bush administration, for better and for worse. I don’t know so many people in this administration. But insofar as our policymakers and our elected officials have talked about policy in terms of Islam, it’s been a mistake. We’re getting no purchase on it, and it’s terrible.

I do not think that this president or the last president, as the chief executives of secular republics, have the expertise or the prerogative to talk about what they think is the true Islam. It’s none of their business. I’m very happy that President Obama actually said that he didn’t want to use terms like “jihad” and “Islamic terrorism.” But his idea of outreach to the Muslim world was a very big mistake because we do not deal, as a nation-state, with large blocs of people in terms of how they identify themselves. We deal with other nation-states diplomatically, politically, even militarily. That’s how we operate in the world. Everyone gave Bernard Lewis a hard time for his notion of a clash of civilizations. But if we have a president who is reaching out to the Muslim world, and he sees it in terms of the West and Islam, he is putting it in terms that everyone said less than a decade ago was retrograde and conservative. So I think this is a big mistake.

What I wanted to do in the book was look less at Islam and more at Arabism. I look at the issue as one of Arab nationalism, Arabism, Arab tribes, all the developments that went on before Islam. Having spent time in Lebanon, I see that there are Lebanese Christians, and a lot of different things that we would say are issues that trouble the region and Muslim societies, many of these same issues affect Christian societies as well, so that’s why I wanted to look through the lens of Arabism. The biggest reason that I wanted to take it away from Islam is that we need to look at it in terms of nation-states. The last administration and this administration have both dropped this thread of recognizing that the problem of Islamic terror is a function of nation-states. It’s about state sponsors of terror. We’ve done almost everything within our power to ignore this fact, and it is deeply dangerous.

The last administration did okay until a certain point—the administration conceded something relating to the nexus. You never heard of this because they never made it public. This is how badly they made their case. The problem, as they perceived it, was that the threat to U.S. national security was that of a nexus, which is where state sponsors of terror and transnational terror groups met weapons of mass destruction. Once they got into Iraq and found no weapons of mass destruction and could not make their case that Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida had a relationship, they were in deep trouble. People thought that they were blaming Saddam Hussein for 9/11—that is never what they said, but they were not able to make their case. Because of that, this very important case has gotten lost, and it’s a disaster for us that we do not hold states accountable.

Last week, the Syrians were caught shipping Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon; this is very bad news, and it’s very dangerous. Unfortunately, the administration restrained the Israelis from doing anything about it. We need to make states responsible, whether these are Shi’a states like the Islamic Republic of Iran, Sunni states like Egypt, or Arab nationalist states like Syria—the problem is that they’re states that sponsor terror. That is why I wanted to move away from Islam. I wanted to talk about state sponsorship of terror, which is an enormous issue. The reason that we still are at great risk is the states that are fighting us through cutouts. What I mean by a cutout is someone who is not in uniform, someone who is essentially a privateer. None of these states—not the Iranians, the Syrians, or the Saudis—is able to control entirely what these different outfits do, but their interests intersect, and none of these outfits can exist for long without some state support.

You can find all sorts of people who will place a bomb around their waist, board a bus, and kill a whole bunch of people. But these groups cannot sustain or reproduce themselves in places like Afghanistan without the support of states. They need money, weapons training, and logistical support. They receive political and diplomatic support. That’s what this war is about, and it really is a war. Every time you hear people say that it’s asymmetric warfare or a war like we’ve never seen before, that’s nonsense. No one is seduced who doesn’t want to be seduced. Everyone is imagining that it’s something different, but it is exactly the way it looks. It’s about the Syrians, it’s about the Iranians. The Saudis are a little different because that regime is largely incompetent, but many members of the 5,000-member Saudi royal family, while they benefit from U.S. support, are also waging war against the United States and its interests.

I’ll leave you with a quick teaser: at this particular moment, the national interests of the United States and the national interests of Israel are in direct conflict. This is what you’re seeing unfolding over the region over the last month, and this is why the White House has been very angry with the Netanyahu government.

IBN WARRAQ: I’d like to thank Fred Siegel, the Manhattan Institute, and St. Francis College for inviting me. Unfortunately, the book that I’m going to talk a bit about tonight is not yet ready. The title of this book—Virgins? What Virgins? and Other Essays—refers to an article I wrote soon after 9/11 for the British daily newspaper the Guardian. It was the first discussion in English of the work of a scholar known as Christoph Luxenberg, who tried to show that the Koran was probably originally a document belonging to a Judeo-Christian sect written in Syriac, a language of the Near East. The article was picked up by a journalist at the New York Times, where it hit the front page, and then went around the world. The idea was that crucial passages in the Koran had been mistranslated, so that the martyrs—mistakenly called suicide bombers, but they’re essentially martyrs—found awaiting them in paradise not 72 virgins, but 72 raisins.

I wrote my first book, Why I Am Not a Muslim, in reaction to the Salman Rushdie affair. I felt that that many intellectuals blamed Rushdie for bringing the infamous fatwa back in 1989 onto himself. I thought that the same intellectuals were not willing to defend some basic principles, like freedom of expression, and especially freedom of speech. This shocked me so much that when I was given the opportunity to write, I jumped at the chance, and I have carried on ever since. By training, I’m a teacher. I taught in a primary school in London for many years, and then in France at the University of Toulouse. Apart from the exceptions like Christopher Hitchens, Fay Weldon, Susan Sontag, and Norman Mailer, Salman Rushdie was really left to defend himself. In an essay in this present book, I take to task another leftist intellectual, Michel Foucault, who notoriously became a cheerleader for the Iranian revolution and Ayatollah Khomeini and made a complete fool of himself.

The other strand running through my book is Koranic principles. I thought that the Koran has not been subject to the same kind of scrutiny that the Bible has been subjected to since at least the seventeenth century with Spinoza. In subsequent books I wrote on the Koran—in The Quest for the Historical Muhammad and What the Koran Really Says. These are essentially anthologies of articles critical of various aspects, but on a more technical level, various aspects of the language of the Koran, the origins of Islam, the traditional story of the origins of the Koran, and so on. They were very critical, and I thought that it was time that we started applying the same sort of criticism of the Koran that had been applied to the Old and the New Testaments. Many of these books were rather long—What the Koran Really Says runs to 782 pages—and I felt that perhaps the introduction which I wrote for that particular book was really meant for the general public. It was nearly 100 pages, but it was really meant for anyone with an intelligent interest in the theological discussions about the origins of the Koran. Several of these articles, which were introductions to these books, have been reproduced in Virgins? What Virgins? so you don’t have to wade through 782 pages of rather recondite Arabic theology.

Several themes emerge in these essays. One is the need to criticize Islam and its doctrines and its Holy Book, and another is the defense of certain values that I associate with the West. I debated Tariq Ramadan at the Intelligence Squared debate in London in 2007. The speech that I gave at that debate is included in this collection, as is a review that I wrote of Caroline Fourest’s book on Tariq Ramadan. The values of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and so on, which one would have thought intellectuals would defend—because their very livelihood depends on them—have surprisingly not been defended. As one of my colleagues at the Intelligence Squared debate, Douglas Murray, said, this kind of debate wouldn’t be possible in the Islamic world. So we should recognize and appreciate the freedoms that we enjoy, and we should certainly defend these freedoms. That’s the point that I make in several of these essays. Unfortunately, political correctness has made it difficult to continue to look critically at Islam and the Koran. And with the capture of the United Nations Human Rights Council by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which silences its critics with the charge of Islamophobia, the need to defend freedom of speech and conscience becomes a moral obligation for all those concerned with human rights.

PAUL BERMAN: Listening to my colleagues on the panel brought to mind a couple of thoughts, and one of them has to do with my own student days. I was a rioter at Columbia University in 1968. Among my professors there, with whom I studied the following year, when I was a sophomore, was the greatest professor I ever had and the one who most influenced my intellectual development because of how brilliant he was as a teacher and because of the approach to ideas and the history of ideas that he taught me to appreciate. This was Edward Said, who gave a course on modern literary criticism, which I took extremely seriously. I’ve come away thinking that Said was an outwardly contradictory man. He was someone who respected and loved what we call Western literature; yet he also managed to develop an ideology of his own after the period in which I studied with him. He developed an ideology, expressed in his book Orientalism, which in effect took all the great issues shaking up the Middle East and, by extension, other parts of the world, and attributed them to Europe or to the West or to Western imperialism. Said managed to create an ideology in which people in the Middle East, or the great majority of the people in the Middle East, lost responsibility for their own situation, which could be attributed entirely to the actions of the West. As everyone knows, Edward Said left a tremendous intellectual legacy. He has tremendously influenced thought in the United States and all over the world, and it occurs to me that my two book-writing colleagues here have both responded to Said in their books. First, let me mention Ibn Warraq’s book Defending the West. Fred Siegel said that the book has been described as a “glorious work of scholarship”; I may be remembering incorrectly, but I think that is my own blurb on the back of the book. If it isn’t, I wish I had written it.

Ibn Warraq is a major world figure among intellectuals. If you go through his books, you’ll be astounded at his erudition. The depth of knowledge that he brings to questions of Islam and Islamic culture in various languages: there is no relation to the depth that Edward Said brought to these topics. Ibn Warraq’s Defending the West is, in effect, one of the most devastating demolitions of an intellectual giant that I’ve ever seen. I don’t think that the book has so far been fully appreciated; it’s a book that will take some time to sink in. But I do think that Ibn Warraq has written a book that will turn out to be of historic importance in demolishing the ideological system that Said created.

Lee Smith, it seems to me, has also written a book that’s fundamentally a response to Said. He describes meeting Said early in his book, and goes on to draw up his own description of the Arab world in various currents, partly as a political interpretation that he offers and partly as first-person journalism and anecdotal stories, a mosaic of writers of this sort, in order to create a picture of the Middle East. The purpose of his book is, if I interpret it correctly, to interpret the Middle East in its own terms, not as a victim or puppet or creation of the West but as a creation of itself. He has tried to interpret the political culture in various countries in the Arab world in their own terms, in reference to their own history. In doing so, he, too, has tried—with considerable success—to counter the effect of the ideology that was created most powerfully in our country by Edward Said.

My own book is a bit different but bears a resemblance to these other books and the influence of Said in at least in one way. My book is principally a study of the philosopher Tariq Ramadan, whom Ibn Warraq just mentioned, and of the reception that Ramadan has received in the Western press and among Western intellectuals. It’s a book about a Middle East topic; but fundamentally, it is a book about Western intellectual currents. Ramadan insists, quite correctly, that Islam is a Western religion. He, in any case, is a French-speaking Swiss, so I take him as a kind of French intellectual, which I think is fair to do. I try to read him in this way and take him seriously and understand what he’s saying in reaction.

Ramadan is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever encountered and one of the most interesting people on earth. It’s because he finds himself, as I interpret him, in a kind of Shakespearean situation: he is the son and grandson of very significant people, and he is loyal to his family and tradition. At the same time, he is at odds with his family tradition. If you listened to him at the Cooper Union the other day, where he was received by PEN, Ramadan explains himself as a kind of liberal. This is not his word because he uses a French vocabulary, but in the United States we would use the word “liberal,” as a Muslim or Islamic liberal—someone who wants to bring together traditional religion and the liberal values of modern civilization. If this were his position, I would be writing essays in his praise. There is nothing I’d like to do more than to write essays about people I admire; if you look through my books, they’re full of such essays.

I would gladly write dozens of such essays of praise of Tariq Ramadan if I thought that what he claims is his position is actually his position. But his actual position—and this is where Shakespeare ought to come in—is much more complicated because on the one hand, he does seem to believe the ideas that he presents; on the other hand, he definitely believes that he ought to be, and is, loyal to his father, Said Ramadan, and to his father’s father-in-law, Tariq Ramadan’s grandfather, Hassan al-Banna. Hassan al-Banna was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, an organization that, as I interpret it, reflected the political and ideological currents of the 1930s and 1940s, as it grew, so it managed to become a mass movement combining elements of Islam with inspirations that are fundamentally Fascist in origin—and, in some cases, Nazi in origin. Ramadan’s problem is to square these two things—his own professed liberal values and the values upheld by his father and his grandfather—and to try to explain why they all add up to a coherent whole. Of course, if you read closely enough, you find that he cannot do it. He’ll create one argument on the page and the second argument in the footnotes.

I’m not one of those who believes that Ramadan is fundamentally a deceiver or someone who conceals what he really thinks. I’m his close reader. I think that he says what he really thinks. I’ve offered an interpretation in my own book. But I think that what he really thinks is utterly contradictory: he thinks A, but he also thinks B. He is an enemy of anti-Semitism, but he also wants to teach the world to revere Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who advocates the extermination of the Jews and praises Hitler. He is the enemy of terrorism, but, if you read his book on jihad, he explains why terrorist actions are unavoidable—and indeed, in some cases, religiously incumbent. You can examine each of his thoughts and discover that the thought for which he is most famous among his champions—the liberal side of his thoughts—is countered by its perfect opposite somewhere else on the page or in the footnotes or in some other passage of the same book. Usually, you don’t even have to go to another book to find the opposite thought.

All this makes perfect sense from the point of view of his actual personal situation. Ramadan interests me because of the nature of his Shakespearean predicament. What strikes me as particularly interesting—and this is where Edward Said may come in—is the reception that he has gotten, first in France and then in Britain, Holland, other countries, and now in the United States. The reception has been, from his point of view, that all his liberal thoughts are taken as his real thoughts, and all his antiliberal thoughts are taken as slanders that are attributed to him by his enemies, who are motivated by unstated agendas. So the man is presented in a false way. The whole phenomenon seems to have been distorted by an ideological lens that we can trace back to the attitudes of Edward Said that he developed in his book Orientalism and other works of that sort.

JUDITH MILLER: I would like to thank St. Francis College, and I’d like to thank Fred Siegel and my three co-panelists for raising some very important issues and also for what they’ve written. I have a bit of history here, having made my first trip to the Middle East in 1971 and having watched the arc of Islamism come into fashion, become a true movement that went across borders, and now begin to end. How we talk and write about Islam and Islamism, Islamic extremism, or whatever we choose to call it, has shifted dramatically over the years.

A convenient demarcation point is before and after 9/11. I wrote a book about the growth of Islamic militancy in ten countries in 1996, and I discovered then what I discovered with my first book about the Holocaust: timing is everything. Never discover the Holocaust before Steven Spielberg does. The same was true about Islamism; that’s what I chose to call it because I wasn’t happy with what scholars were then calling it, which was “fundamentalism.” That was a word imported from Christian doctrine, which was inappropriate in many ways. But the people who were writing then about Islamism and the dangerous trends were very few; and the ones who did were very courageous because even though no one noticed, they were under enormous pressure in their own society.

I was very taken by the fact that if you had asked intellectuals, even students of the Middle East, people who studied Arabism before 9/11, who Sheik Qaradawi was, who Hassan al-Banna was, who Maududi was, who Sayid Qutb was, they couldn’t have told you. Today, after 9/11, we know who these figures are. As Mr. Smith wrote in his book, there has been a struggle among Muslims primarily for the control of their religion. One thing I greatly admire about his book, which has just come out, is that he says something that Americans, and especially New Yorkers, aren’t used to hearing: folks, this is primarily not about us. I know that we think it’s about us, but it’s not; this is a civilizational struggle taking place within Islam. That theme resonated with me because that’s what I had found back in 1996, before Osama bin Laden was well known even in his own country or in the region. Post-9/11, our attitude toward and our interest in Islam changed dramatically, and many people now think that they know a lot about Islam. I would suggest that they know less than they think that they do.

We have to thank Ibn Warraq for his extraordinary work, and I would second Mr. Berman’s comments in praise of it. To write a book called Why I Am Not a Muslim, at the time that Mr. Warraq did, with passions running so high, takes true courage. One thing that struck me and made me very afraid of this militancy that I was covering in every Arab country was that it didn’t have much to do with America. In fact, it didn’t even have very much to do with Israel, but it had a lot to do with what kind of society these people wanted to live in.

The people who were proposing an Islamic alternative were, by and large, the people who were trying to silence the voices that were calling for debate, tolerance, and a multiethnic Middle East, and they were doing so using the Koran as their weapon. The ultimate expression of this became al-Qaida, an organization that has nothing to do with Islamic values other than its rhetoric and its desire for power. But since 9/11, because of the writings of people like Paul Berman, Lee Smith, and Ibn Warraq, Americans and the world know a lot more about this clash taking place, though in the Western world we are really bystanders. We can affect things by aggravating and irritating people, but we’re pretty much bystanders except when we choose to get directly involved. That doesn’t mean that we’re not a target; we are.

But the good news, if I have any, is that these three people can sit here without bodyguards, without a threat of fatwas—which would mean that their books would not be published. Most of these books will be published, now even in Arabic. The climate is changing and shifting. If history is running in any direction, we’re now seeing a huge reaction within the Muslim world—and I don’t even like the term “Muslim world” because each country is so very different from the others. But the mistakes committed by al-Qaida, the extremists, the people who issued the fatwas: the people in these countries are turning against these movements because they’re reading books and because they have seen the excesses of the al-Qaidas of the world, the beheadings in Iraq that were carried out in the name of Islamic virtue, and because they’ve seen what extremism does within their own societies. They understand that if they want to modernize, then Iran and Sudan—the only two countries that have adopted an openly Islamic form of government—are not models for any kind of happy societies or prospering societies that people would want. So there has been a huge educational learning curve.

Perhaps I’m overly optimistic at this point. I was recently in Saudi Arabia, and while what is going on there should not be confused with social change, what was extraordinary was the mobilization of that society against the very people whom they once not only tolerated, but supported. It’s not only a question of opening a “rehabilitation center” or teaching people alternative interpretations of the Koran. It’s a question of understanding that in the concept of the Sirat al-mustaqim—the straight path that permits no deviance and no debate—lies only authoritarianism, misery, and failure. When most Muslims come to believe that, no matter where they are, we will be making our way back to a better place where we can begin to have a calm discussion about Islam and about the issues that Mr. Warraq, Mr. Berman, and Mr. Smith have been raising in their books.

One thing that disappoints me tremendously—which Mr. Berman has noted, which is why I think what he’s writing is so important—is that I cannot say that intellectuals have been in the forefront of the fight against Islamic militancy. Because so many intellectuals were opposed to everything that the United States was doing, they tended to see America as responsible for all the currents that were playing out. I remember hearing again and again in Egypt about the impact of colonialism. Episodes like that do leave an extraordinary impact on a society, but I reminded them that it happened about 70 years ago and that they have had pretty much one pharaoh or a couple of regimes since then, and that their problems lie elsewhere. I think that most Egyptians now agree with that. So I’m more optimistic than I’ve been in a long time by what I see occurring in the Middle East.

Mr. Berman, how should we have responded to Tariq Ramadan? Do you think that he should have been permitted to come into this country? He is still on the terrorist list, and Hillary Clinton, our secretary of state, wrote the waiver for him to come here. What kind of threat does he pose, or do you think it’s good that people are exposed to his ideas?

Mr. Smith, you talk and write a lot about Lebanon, but surely Lebanon is now one of the most troublesome examples of a country in which Islamism has found a way to exploit its militancy, not only to express itself but actually to become part of the political system, which I think is its next evolution. We’re going to see them saying, we’re Tariq Ramadan writ large—we’re just good, old-fashioned moral people who want everyone to think the way we do—and suddenly Hezbollah is not just a terrorist organization; it’s a political party with seats in the parliament and with demands. So is that the direction that this movement is working in?

Mr. Warraq, who do you think is the most dangerous militant intellectual writing in the Arab world and the Muslim world now? Do we know him or her? What do you think Americans don’t know and don’t fully appreciate about the intellectual evolution of Islamic militancy?

PAUL BERMAN: The Bush administration was very foolish to keep Tariq Ramadan out of the United States, and Hillary Clinton has done the right thing in letting him in. That is because there is an intellectual or ideological dimension to all these issues, and insofar as there is an intellectual dimension, the proper response is debate and discussion. So it is in the interest of everyone to have the widest possible debate and the broadest possible discussion. If someone is actually a terrorist or is actively promoting terrorist organizations, that would be a different story, but I don’t see Ramadan that way. I see him as an intellectual, as someone who ought to be engaged, if I could use that word—except that the word has become distorted. The word “engaged” has come to mean that you should lie down like a rug in front of someone and be walked on. But I take “engaged” to have a different meaning in that you engage someone, perhaps like two boxers engage. In any case, you take someone seriously, and you argue. That is what ought to have been done with people like Ramadan, and it would be good if it could happen now. So far, it has not happened because at first the PEN greeting of Ramadan was a bit peculiar. Some objections to him were made.

Of course, Ramadan’s main critics—for example, Ibn Warraq—were not invited, which was noted. The meeting ended on a very curious note, which I don’t think anyone has observed. It ended with a question that was put to Ramadan from the audience and read by the moderator, Jacob Weisberg. The question concerned Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is a woman from Somalia who went to Holland. She’s a citizen of Holland, although barely, because there was an effort to deny her citizenship. She has taken up a strong atheist position, but above all, a very strong argument in favor of women’s rights, protesting a variety of oppressions. She has been very articulate on these matters. But she has suffered a rather bizarre fate, which is that as early as 2002, she was coming under death threats in Holland. A couple of years later, her colleague in the making of a small film, Theo Van Gogh, was murdered by an Islamist extremist, who left pinned to his body a very eloquent, poetic death threat aimed at Ayaan Hirsi Ali herself. Ramadan was asked a question about Hirsi Ali and proceeded to denounce her as a racist. What was unnerving about this is that the death threat was written by someone named Mohammed Bouyeri, who belongs to a Salafist organization whose ideological nature, if you study the death threat, was influenced by Said Qutb—who was published by Tariq Ramadan’s father, Said Ramadan—and descends ultimately from Hassan al-Banna. The death threat accuses Ayaan Hirsi Ali of being an agent of the Jews, who were defined as a cosmically evil organization.

So it was a racist death threat that was racist against the Jews, stated in an ideology that descended in various ways from the father and grandfather of Tariq Ramadan—and Tariq Ramadan is now denouncing this woman, who lives in hiding and is protected by bodyguards in the United States because she has had to flee to the United States. She is denounced by the grandson of the man who founded the ideology that led to the murder of her colleague. She is denounced as a racist by Ramadan. The leader of PEN does not rush out onto the stage in order to denounce Ramadan and protect Ayaan Hirsi Ali. On the contrary, Ramadan is celebrated as a sort of hero. So I think that it is right to bring Ramadan into the United States, but it would also be right to challenge him; and to do that, we need a different set of intellectuals.

LEE SMITH: Remind me why we have to listen to him, though. The way you conclude this, I agree entirely; I think that you are exactly right. Somehow we as Americans have to prove that we are devoted to principles like freedom of speech by giving Tariq Ramadan a visa, which was crazy. If he is going to come here, fine. If he is going to say those things, that’s the problem, no one was going to say those things then, no one was going to challenge him. They didn’t invite you, and you’re America’s premier Ramadanologist. Obviously, they didn’t want to have someone who was going to challenge him. No one is going to challenge him while he is here. Do you want to see Tariq Ramadan challenged? Then read Paul Berman’s book. But aside from that, they weren’t going to challenge him.

PAUL BERMAN: He did end up getting challenged by George Packer, so part of the discussion was very good. Everything should be done to further discussion, but there is an ideological dimension to these things. The strictly intellectual debate is itself good, and one should never give up the idea that on certain questions, it is possible to convince people: it is possible to engage in debates and win. If you follow the rise and fall of Communism, you realize that Communism arose because Communist writers won—or appeared to win—certain debates. Many people were influenced; some here were influenced in different ways. Then serious counterarguments were raised by some of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. If you would have asked in 1948, is it worthwhile arguing with Communists or Stalinists, a lot of people would have said no, there’s no point; they’re utter fanatics, and they’re not going to listen. But those counterarguments won. It took a long time, but they did eventually triumph, and in this form: the Communists themselves came out against Communism.

Someday—and I hope Ms. Miller’s optimism is correct—the Islamists themselves will come out against Islamism. I don’t have her reportorial experience in the Middle East, but in one respect I share her optimism, and this has to do with Iran. We can see now that the Islamist militants—the very people who led the revolution of 1979 to create the Islamic Republic—are thinking their way through the contradictions of their own ideology, and some of those people are beginning to end up on the liberal side of that argument. The whole experience of the twentieth century should tell us that those people are going to win eventually. I wish the United States would act differently from the way it does, but ultimately it’s up to them. So these arguments do have a meaning, and intellectuals can play a role. Intellectuals are usually wrong, but some of them are sometimes right; and the ones who are right sometimes win.

LEE SMITH: I am not an optimist about Iran. If you look at the way the region is tending right now—and this has, in large part, to do with the United States—it is tending toward the extremists. The so-called extremists are the people riding a powerful wave. Hezbollah is a wave of the future; these people will take more and more power. That is what is going to happen. And not only is the United States not doing anything, but we are deterring Israel from doing anything about an outfit like Hezbollah. And it’s not just Israel and Hezbollah. If you look at what happened in Lebanon, during the last administration and this administration, we paid lip service to moderates. We want to engage the Muslim world as a bunch of moderates and to encourage moderation. But when real political facts unfold on the ground, we turn around and sell out the moderates again and again. In Lebanon, the prime minister, Rafik al-Hariri, was a major Sunni leader and a major regional figure. He was assassinated in 2005, and we know who did it: the extremists, the forces of extremism.


LEE SMITH: Yes, the Syrians.

JUDITH MILLER: Syrians are not militant Islamists; it’s the state.

LEE SMITH: I agree. So again, that’s why I try to take it away from Islam; but if we look at it as an issue of extremism and of people who are willing to resort to violence, those are the people in the region who are going to win. They’re winning now because we are in retreat. That is the way they see it. I don’t think that they are necessarily wrong. So if we want to reward and encourage moderation, we need to protect moderate friends and punish the extremists like Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, and tell them that it’s safe to come out and do better things. What Hariri did was pay for people to go to school. He paid for young Lebanese, Sunni, Shi’a, Christian, and Druid people to get educations around the world, in the United States and Europe. This was a man who was killed, shot by the bad guys, blown up in a car bomb with 22 other people. And what did we do? Well, the tribunals kicked it along for about five years, and it’s not that big a deal. What the Obama administration is going to do instead is engage the Syrian regime that killed him. So again, this talk about moderation and extremism, who we’re going to engage in the Muslim world, how do we do all these nice things—it’s nonsense because politically, that is who we encourage: the bad guys, and they have a sense that they’re winning. I wish I were more optimistic, but I’m not right now.

IBN WARRAQ: In reply to Ms. Miller’s question: No, I don’t think any of the recent writings in the Islamic world have the profundity or the influence of people like, say, Qutb or Maududi. We used to hear a lot about people like Hassan Turabi in Sudan, but he seems to have faded away completely. Awlaki, the mentor of the accused killer at Fort Hood, was someone in Yemen, not particularly an original thinker. I have no idea what sort of a following he will eventually acquire. But there is a contradiction. Newspapers like the New York Times, which I no longer read for this reason, lament the fact that there is no Islamic reformation or, better still, Islamic enlightenment, and then they refuse to give space to people who might even bring about this enlightenment—that is, the dissidents, the ones who are willing to stand up and criticize the unacceptable aspects of Islamism.

There are a considerable number of moderates. I recently acquired a book called The Other Muslims: Moderate and Secular, edited by Zeyno Baran, a Turkish woman. We need to give more space to them—we need to provide them with prestigious chairs and so on, and not fete and lionize devious individuals like Ramadan. There is always a tendency to say that anyone who criticizes Islam cannot be an authentic Muslim. This is the kind of fallacious thought that Michel Foucault famously indulged in when he was approached by a group of Iranian women who asked him: Why are you praising this regime, which is a disaster for the position of women? He dismissed them all. He had nothing but contempt for them and said that they were inauthentic and that they were too Westernized and didn’t understand the revolutionary impact of this wonderful, spiritual, political movement. One must get away from this absurd thought that only an Islamist can criticize Islamism. It leads to an absurd situation, where only a Fascist can criticize Fascism. Of course, Islamists are the first to criticize, for example, Christianity. So we must not fall into this power scheme. We must look at the evidence and weigh the validity of the arguments. This is, in effect, throwing out charges of Islamophobia. Anytime that anyone criticizes Islam, he is considered an Islamophobe. This is just a way of silencing criticism. We must keep on criticizing.

FRED SIEGEL: Would anyone like to ask a question?

QUESTIONER: Why do we continue to pursue Syria after all that has been said and all that we know? Why do we still want to send an ambassador? And why does this administration think that the key to solving all the problems in the world is stopping a few Jews from building a few houses in East Jerusalem, when the administration seems to turn their heads to the Iranians building a nuclear bomb, which someone could bring into a subway in New York?

LEE SMITH: The Syrian question is dear to my heart. I look at the audience and see my Lebanese friends smiling, just dying to be able to answer that question themselves. Let me come back around to that. What I did want to talk about is: what was important to the Bush administration was winning Iraq. Did they win in Iraq? No. How do we know that they didn’t win? Because what they say is that we cannot attack the Iranian nuclear program without the Iranians retaliating against our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. That simply means that you don’t win, right? That someone else can shape your strategic environment—that means you don’t win a war.

The Obama administration is not that different from the Bush administration. The Obama administration doesn’t care as much about the victory. What the Obama administration wants to do is withdraw from Iraq. Again, what will stop that from happening is an attack on the Iranian nuclear program. The Obama administration has all but announced that it believes that it can move toward containment and deterrence, which is ridiculous. It’s not going to move toward containment and deterrence because that means the end of an era. The architecture that we had in the Persian Gulf in the last 65 years has been designed precisely to prevent a breakout such as the one that the Iranian nuclear program represents. The Iranian nuclear program is a catastrophe. That means it’s bad for U.S. interests, which should ideally be our chief strategic interest, to preserve our position in the Persian Gulf. But it’s not: getting out of Iraq safely is.

The Israelis believe, as we should, that their chief strategic interest is in preventing the Iranian nuclear program. But you see where this conflicts with U.S. interests. The Israelis want to move on the Iranians, as we should, not for the sake of Israel but for the sake of our own position in the region. We’re deterring them from doing anything about it. You see how that is going to operate because if you saw what happened the other day—again when the administration said no, don’t attack the Syrian convoy sending Scuds over—that’s exactly what’s going to work. The Syrians are building up deterrents in Lebanon, so if the Israelis decide to hit the Iranian nuclear program, they are going to have a big issue coming out of Lebanon now. It’s not just going to be rockets that have a 60- to 80-mile range; it is now 430 miles, so that’s what they’re allowing. I don’t mean to sound paranoid, but if you’re the American administration and you want to keep the Israelis from attacking the Iranian nuclear program, then it’s okay to have Scuds in the hands of Hezbollah, because that will work toward deterring the Israelis from attacking the Iranian nuclear facilities. It’s preposterous; it’s perverse and insane. The only question is how long it will take for the Gulf Arab states to throw us out of the region.

QUESTIONER: You talk about the difference between Islam and Islamism. Mr. Smith, you said that you don’t want to deal with it. We have the Islamic Conference, which Ibn Warraq mentioned, and 56 nations are promoting the so-called Cairo Declaration of 1992, which is basically an Islamic replacement for the United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So is the Islamic version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Islam or Islamism? What’s the difference?

IBN WARRAQ: I often think that this is a way of skirting the question. I prefer to bring in the nuances of history. I like to make a distinction that I actually owe to Bernard Lewis; oddly enough, Lewis, to my knowledge, has never made use of it. It’s a very useful distinction that he made between Islam One, Two, and Three. Islam One is what’s in the Koran, what the Prophet Mohammed did and enjoyed. Islam Two is the sharia and the theological construct that we call Islam, as developed by the theologians over the centuries. Islam Three is Islamic civilization, which is what Muslims actually did do as opposed to what they should have done, what actually happened in Islamic history. Often Islam Three—that is, Islamic civilization—was far more tolerant than what Islam One and Two demanded. For example, until very recently, Islamic society (Islam Three) was far more tolerant about homosexuality than the West was, whereas Islam One and Islam Two more firmly condemned it. There are several ambiguous passages in the Koran, but certainly Islam Two, the sharia, condemns homosexuality.

Islamic history has never been a relentless series of theocratic governments; it has varied from century to century, ruler to ruler. Sometimes it has been very intolerant, and sometimes it has been very tolerant. Just look at some of the poets who were given free rein—for example, al-Mahawi, an Iraqi who was certainly an agnostic and very probably an atheist, but he was very critical. He was left alone; no one bothered him, so this is witness to the period of tolerance. This is, for me, the best way to approach the situation. For example, some of the terrorists are taking literally what is in the Koran. There are all sorts of intolerant passages in the Koran about killing infidels and not taking Jews and Christians as friends. It’s undeniably there, and you can’t get away from it. Chapter four in the Koran: you can’t get away from the fact that it gives men the power to beat women. It’s no good pretending that somehow the real Islam is tolerant, the real Islam is feminist, and so on. There is a great deal of confusion because people do not want to tarnish with the same brush a billion believers. We don’t want to be too crude in our defamation. We don’t want to call all Muslims terrorists, so the best way is this distinction between Islam One, Two, Three.

QUESTIONER: You’ve all spoken eloquently about the need for pluralism in the Islamic world. However, I’m not clear on how you think we should go about achieving that. Should we, for example, support the dissidents who are in the streets in Iran? Should we lean on the Saudis, a purported ally, to stop the spread of Wahhabism and madrassas? What specific steps do the U.S. and the West take to try to bring about the more pluralistic world you spoke of?

JUDITH MILLER: Yes, we definitely should be supporting the dissidents. One of my objections to what the Obama administration has done—and it’s very hard to understand—is that they have downplayed the role of the dissidents and their own societies. They haven’t given them the support that George W. Bush gave them. It’s just night and day. They feel it, and they respond to it. The dissidents know that they are fighting alone, and it is very difficult. First, we should support the voices of the people who claim to believe in what we believe, and we can do that in a way that doesn’t challenge the authority of the state unless and until the state puts someone in jail or represses him or kills him. It’s a return to a kind of realpolitik that I find very disheartening.

Second, part of the problem with Saudi Arabia now is that it’s not very good. It’s one of the most closed societies that I’ve ever operated in. For example, it used to be that if you were a journalist, you would get a visa if there was an Arab summit or something happening there; then you would write something and they would go crazy, and you would be banned for the next year. Now, a journalist can get multiple entry visas right here from the embassy in Washington, but no one knows that. They understand that they have a problem. Our leaning on them to, say, do more about their textbooks is helpful, as long as we do it privately and within diplomatic channels, because they are well aware of what the Wahhabists do. Their problem is structural. Their kingdom is the result of the deal between their religious establishment and their political establishment. Both know that if they go at each other tooth and tongue, their kingdom falls apart.

But Saudi Arabia is, as an entity—not as a modern kingdom but as an entity—older than the United States, so let’s not talk about fragile states. These places are tough, and they do what they must to survive. You can support our friends and dissident voices, and you can support—I do not use the word “moderate” with these people. People who do not let women drive and who say that you cannot open a church in my country are not moderate, but they are pragmatic. You can work with them to minimize the threat to them that also threatens us; that is, I think, what Obama is trying to do. I’m not happy with the way he is doing it or with the language that he is using because I don’t think that we should not call this Islamism. It is an extreme form of political violence that uses religion as a cover. I want them to face the choice that they have to make—anything we do to bolster the forces of pragmatism and tolerance is good in the region, even if it means working with a state that we have some problems with.

QUESTIONER: What can be done about the New York Times?


PAUL BERMAN: I have written as a freelancer for the New York Times for many years, and I sympathize totally with Ms. Miller’s situation. I’ll say a few things about her. I have in my files a New York Times Magazine from the late twentieth century, with an article by Judith Miller about the suffering of the Kurds in Iraq. I thought it was brilliant, courageous reporting. It influenced me, so I stuck it away in my files and thought that I would look it up as soon as I needed it (I needed it today, and I couldn’t find it!). I point this out because the New York Times has published a lot of great stuff over the years, and I hope that it will continue to do so. The New York Times has its own slant on things sometimes, and at other times it ought to be regarded as a public square that gives voice to different views. A lot of pieces make me want to tear my hair, but every now and then, I will appear in it—and I think that’s great! So I don’t think it’s good to jump on this one institution.

But the question allows me to address another question, which does bear on the Times and other institutions: What can be done about the dissidents in the Arab and Muslim world who are suffering extreme oppression? Our government has in some ways abandoned them lately, which I regret. But we live in the kind of society where we are not completely dependent on the government. We ourselves, whether we work for the New York Times or some other periodical, or we have an organization like the Manhattan Institute or a college like St. Francis, or are connected with some other institution, or are freelance writers—we ourselves can do something. If you’re in a position to do something, you can offer people jobs or chairs, as Ibn Warraq was urging, or you can write about people who ought to be written about, or you can print what people have written. Also, you can address the enemies of these people. I’m sorry that PEN didn’t manage to rise to the defense of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and instead rose to the defense of Tariq Ramadan, but some people do stand up for people like Hirsi Ali. That is something that can be done on a very large scale. It doesn’t matter how modest or grand your own resources are. It’s something that we can all do now, regardless of what our government’s policies may be.

JUDITH MILLER: I want to say one more word about the New York Times: as much as we all love to complain about it, just imagine what this city would be like without it. It is one of the last papers that is totally committed to having foreign bureaus. The Pulitzers were a sad affair this year because there were so few papers left to invest in foreign reporting. When people think that Ethan Bronner is not doing a great job—from Jerusalem—and try to get him fired because his son is going into the IDF, the Times has a long, tortured, internal investigation. The public ombudsman says that this correspondent—who I think is brilliant and doing a fair-minded job—ought to be fired. Bill Keller disagrees and says that his work speaks for itself. We can take issue with positions and certain articles, but here is a paper with resources that is investing in foreign reporting, when most Americans no longer want to hear even about Iraq and Afghanistan. We would be much poorer without it. So as angry as we get at the Times, remember what’s at stake here.

Paul Berman is a writer in residence at New York University. Frank J. Macchiarola is the chancellor of St. Francis College. Judith Miller is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Fred Siegel is a visiting professor at St. Francis College, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a contributing editor of City Journal. Lee Smith is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute. Ibn Warraq is a senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry. This discussion was transcribed by Jacob Siegel, a Brooklyn writer.

Posted in Islam, Islamization | 2 Comments »

Alice Schwarzer: Der Schleier der Fundamentalisten

Posted by paulipoldie on July 27, 2010

Der muslimische Ganzkörperschleier ist nicht nur zutiefst menschenverachtend, sondern er bedeutet auch den totalen Sieg des politisierten Islam. Burka, Nikab und Tschador gehören deshalb verboten – fordert Alice Schwarzer.

FAZ, 22. Juli 2010

Als das französische Parlament am Vorabend des 14. Juli das Verbot der Burka in der Öffentlichkeit beschloss, enthielten sich – bis auf zwanzig Abweichler – die Sozialisten, Kommunisten und Grünen der Stimme. In der Kopftuchdebatte scheint die politische Front in allen europäischen Ländern ähnlich zu verlaufen: Linke neigen zur Tolerierung, Konservative und Rechte zum Verbot. Und die Bevölkerung?

Zweiundachtzig Prozent der Französinnen und Franzosen bejahten das Burka-Verbot. Und die Mehrheit der sechs Millionen Muslime in Frankreich ist ebenfalls dafür. Auch das entspricht der Stimmung in der Bevölkerung der westlichen Länder.

Burka-Verbot: Der Schleier der Fundamentalisten

Wie auch in Belgien muss das Gesetz in Frankreich nun nur noch den Senat passieren. Dann wird in Zukunft eine Frau, die in Frankreich öffentlich vollverschleiert auftritt, mit einhundertfünfzig Euro Strafe und einem Kurs in Staatsbürgerkunde rechnen müssen. Männern, die ihre Frau unter die Burka „zwingen“, drohen ein Jahr Gefängnis und Geldstrafen von bis zu dreißigtausend Euro – was allerdings reine Theorie ist. Denn eine Frau, die so unterwürfig ist, in dem schwarzen Loch eines Vollschleiers zu verschwinden, wird wohl kaum die Aufsässigkeit haben, ihren Mann wegen Burka-Zwangs anzuzeigen.

Als die Burka-Debatte in Frankreich im Jahr 2009 begann, angestoßen von einem kommunistischen Bürgermeister, behaupteten die Burka-Tolerierer zunächst, im ganzen Land gebe es überhaupt nur einhundertsechsundfünfzig Burka-Trägerinnen, von daher sei ein Verbot irrelevant. Inzwischen ist ihre Anzahl in der offiziellen Statistik auf zweitausend angewachsen. Wobei bemerkenswert ist, dass mindestens jede dritte Verschleierte in Frankreich eine Konvertitin ist. In der Regel verdanken deren muslimische Ehemänner der Eheschließung mit ihnen die französische Staatsangehörigkeit.

So ist es auch im Fall des Algeriers Lies Habbadj, dessen vollverschleierte französische Ehefrau Anne die Burka-Debatte in Frankreich auslöste. Ein Polizist hatte ihr eine Geldstrafe aufgebrummt wegen Fahrens am Steuer im Nikab, dem Vollschleier, der nur für die Augen einen kleinen Schlitz im Gesicht frei lässt. Ihr Ehemann ist ein aktiver Anhänger der schriftgläubigen Missionarssekte Tabligh. Der Metzger in Nantes wurde schon länger vom französischen Geheimdienst beobachtet, weil er sich seit Jahren regelmäßig wochenlang in Pakistan aufhält.

Ein taktisch agierender Islamist

Habbadj hat übrigens noch drei weitere Ehefrauen, mit denen er jedoch nicht nach französischem, sondern nur nach islamischem Recht verheiratet ist. Als die Justiz ihn wegen Polygamie anklagen wollte, ging der offenbar gut Geschulte cool an die Öffentlichkeit und erklärte, dann müssten aber auch die vielen französischen Männer, die Geliebte haben, der Polygamie angeklagt werden. Lies Habbadj ist also keineswegs ein naiver Gläubiger, sondern ein taktisch agierender Islamist, für den das Strafmandat seiner Frau vermutlich ganz in seinem Sinne war, da er auf Provokation des Rechtsstaates aus zu sein scheint.

Ganz wie einst die Deutsch-Afghanin Fereshta Ludin, die für das Recht von Lehrerinnen auf das Kopftuch in der Schule über acht Jahre lang bis zum höchsten Gericht klagte. Oder wie im Fall der sogenannten „Kopftuchaffäre“, die im Jahr 1989 Frankreich beschäftigte. Da hatten politisch einschlägig aktive Väter und Onkel drei kleine Mädchen provokant mit Kopftuch in die laizistische Schule geschickt – und damit eine jahrelange Debatte ausgelöst, in der sich quasi die gesamte Linke für das Kopftuch aussprach.

Die Frage der Freiwilligkeit

Die Philosophin Elisabeth Badinter, die Ehefrau des früheren sozialistischen Justizministers, war damals eine der wenigen Stimmen aus der Linken, die gegen das – neunzehn Jahre später schließlich verbotene – Kopftuch in der Schule plädierte. Sie sprach von einem „verschleierten Verstand“. Auch jetzt erhob Badinter wieder ihre Stimme und schrieb einen offenen Brief an die Burka-Trägerinnen: „Sind wir in Ihren Augen so verachtenswert und unrein, dass Sie jeden Kontakt, jede Beziehung mit uns verweigern, bis hin zu einem kleinen Lächeln?“, fragte sie und fuhr fort: „In Wahrheit nutzen Sie die demokratischen Freiheiten, um die Freiheit abzuschaffen. Das ist eine Ohrfeige für alle Ihre unterdrückten Schwestern, denen für diese Freiheiten, die Sie so verachten, die Todesstrafe droht.“

Es ist in der Tat schwer nachvollziehbar, wie Frauen freiwillig eine Verhüllung anlegen können, die in den „Gottesstaaten“ und allen Ländern, in denen die Islamisten inzwischen die Macht haben, Frauen mit Todesdrohungen aufgezwungen wird. In diesen Ländern haben die Frauen keine andere Wahl. Und auch innerhalb der islamistisch beherrschten Communitys mitten in Europa ist es für die Musliminnen nicht immer einfach.

Die religiöse Begründung ist unerheblich

Aber was ist mit den Konvertitinnen, die in Ländern aufgewachsen sind, in denen ihre Vorfahrinnen die Gleichberechtigung – vom Wahlrecht bis zum Recht der Sichtbarkeit im öffentlichen Raum – so mühsam erstritten haben? Ihre Motive scheinen Angst vor Freiheit und Selbstverantwortung sowie weiblicher Masochismus zu sein – als Folge einer langen realen Unterdrückung und Demütigung des weiblichen Geschlechts.

Doch die subjektiven Motive von Mädchen und Frauen, die sich in Demokratien „freiwillig“ unter ein Kopftuch oder den Ganzkörperschleier begeben, sind nur die eine Ebene und übrigens vielfältig und wechselnd – so diese Frauen überhaupt die innere und äußere Freiheit haben, die Meinung zu wechseln. Die zweite Ebene aber, die objektive Bedeutung des Schleiers, ist eindeutig: Kopftuch und Tschador waren auch in der muslimischen Welt Relikte der ländlichen, unaufgeklärten Bevölkerung – bis Chomeini in Iran den Gottesstaat ausrief. Seither ist das Kopftuch die Flagge des politisierten Islam und der Ganzkörperschleier sein totaler Sieg.

Die Mehrheit der Islamwissenschaftler scheint sich einig zu sein, dass weder das islamische Kopftuch, das die Haare ganz bedeckt, noch der Ganzkörperschleier religiös begründet sind. Doch, ehrlich gesagt, finde ich diese Frage für unsere Debatte eigentlich unerheblich. Denn es kann doch nicht sein, dass wir Texte, die aus religiösen oder machtpolitischen Interessen vor Jahrhunderten oder sogar Jahrtausenden geschrieben wurden, im Rechtsstaat als Realität anerkennen – selbst wenn sie gegen die elementarsten Menschenrechte verstoßen.

Menschenverachtend – auch für Männer

Mit den kopftuchtragenden Musliminnen in unseren Ländern haben wir selbstverständlich zu reden und ihnen nicht mit Verboten zu begegnen. In Kindergärten, Schulen und im öffentlichen Dienst allerdings hat dieses Kopftuch, das kein religiöses, sondern ein politisches Zeichen ist, nichts zu suchen. Hinzu kommt, dass es eine gewaltige Erleichterung für viele muslimische Mädchen aus orthodoxen oder fundamentalistischen Familien wäre, wenn das Kopftuch sie wenigstens in der Schule nicht als die „Anderen“ stigmatisierte, in ihrer Bewegungsfreiheit behinderte und sie von den Jungen wie Wesen von unterschiedlichen Sternen trennte. Wir würden den Mädchen mit dem Freiraum Schule überhaupt erst die Chance zu einer eines Tages wirklich freien Wahl geben.

Der Ganzkörperschleier aber hat in einer Demokratie nichts zu suchen. Er raubt den weiblichen Menschen jegliche Individualität und behindert sie aufs schwerste in ihrer Bewegungsfreiheit. Burka und Nikab sind zutiefst menschenverachtend. Nicht nur für die in ihren Stoffgefängnissen eingeschlossenen Frauen, sondern auch für die Männer, denen ja unterstellt wird, sie würden sich auf jede Frau, von der sie auch nur ein Haar oder ein Stück Haut erblicken, wie ein Tier stürzen.

Ein sehr pragmatisches, unsentimentales Verhältnis zur Integration

In Deutschland wurde in den vergangenen Monaten über die französische Burka-Debatte in fast allen Medien herablassend spöttisch berichtet. Haben die Franzosen eigentlich keine anderen Probleme? Wir jedenfalls haben diese Probleme nicht!, lautete der Tenor. Angeblich gibt es bei uns keine Burka- oder Nikab-tragenden Frauen. Mit Verlaub, da staune ich. Seit geraumer Zeit sehe ich bei jedem Gang durch die Kölner Innenstadt mindestens zwei, drei vollverschleierte Frauen, meist in Begleitung lässiger Männer in Jeans. Wie lange wollen wir eigentlich über einen solchen Sklavinnen-Auftritt noch hinwegsehen?

Als Frankreich im Herbst 2008 das Kopftuchverbot in der Schule für Lehrerinnen und Schülerinnen verabschiedete, drohte der Al-Qaida-Führer Abou Moussab Abdoul Wadoud: „Wir werden uns im Namen der Ehre unserer Töchter und Schwestern an Frankreich rächen. Heute ist es der Tschador, morgen ist es der Nikab.“ Wadoud und seine Gotteskrieger scheinen Ernst machen zu wollen.

Doch Präsident Sarkozy ließ sich nicht einschüchtern. Als Sohn eines emigrierten Ungarn und einer griechischen Jüdin, aufgewachsen bei den jüdischen, einst vor den Nazis geflüchteten Großeltern, hat er selbst einen „Migrationshintergrund“ und ein sehr pragmatisches, unsentimentales Verhältnis zur Integration. „Wir sind eine alte Nation, die sich einig ist in Bezug auf eine gewisse Vorstellung von der Würde des Menschen, insbesondere der Würde der Frau“, erklärte Sarkozy. „Der Vollschleier, der das Gesicht verbirgt, verletzt unsere fundamentalen republikanischen Werte.“

Eine Steigerung der Isolation?

Auch Sarkozys muslimische Staatssekretärin Fadela Amara erklärte, die Burka sei „ein sichtbarer Ausdruck der Fundamentalisten in unserem Land“. Die Franco-Senegalesin Rama Yade, ebenfalls Muslimin und Mitglied des Kabinetts, nannte sie „menschenverachtend und der reine Hohn“.

Ganz anders tönen hingegen europäische linke Menschenrechtsorganisationen. So warnte Human Rights Watch vor einer „Stigmatisierung“ der Burka-Trägerinnen durch ein Verbot; erklärte Amnesty International, ein Burka-Verbot verletze „die Grundrechte von Frauen“; und gab Sozialistenführerin Martine Aubry der Sorge Ausdruck, damit „isoliere“ man die Burka-Trägerinnen nur noch stärker. Ganz so, als sei eine Steigerung der Isolation einer Frau unter der Burka überhaupt möglich.

Sollen wir uns wieder einmal raushalten?

Dieser Paternalismus der Linken ist nicht neu. Auffallend ist, dass in ganz Europa die Linke den Kampf gegen die Islamisierung den Konservativen beziehungsweise Rechten überlässt. Mit dem Resultat, dass die Rechte dies zum Teil populistisch funktionalisiert und missbraucht. Und die Linke? Die relativiert mit einer solchen falschen Toleranz nicht nur mühsam errungene westliche Werte wie Rechtsstaatlichkeit und Gleichberechtigung, sondern ignoriert auch die berechtigten Ängste der Bevölkerung. Vor allem aber lässt sie die Mehrheit der Musliminnen im Stich, die ja die ersten Opfer der fundamentalistischen Agitatoren sind.

Die Gründe für diese scheinbare „Fremdenliebe“, die eigentlich nur die Kehrseite des Fremdenhasses ist, scheinen vielfältig zu sein. Sie reichen von Gleichgültigkeit und schlechtem Gewissen bis hin zu einem sehr grundsätzlichen Differenzialismus dieser Söhne und Töchter von Michel Foucault und Claude Lévi-Strauss. Denn es waren diese Kreise, die die Offensive des Islamismus lange als „Revolution des Volkes“ gefeiert haben. Foucault etwa war einer der ersten und glühendsten Befürworter des iranischen Gottesstaates. Und die Liberalen und Konservativen? Die machten und machen fröhlich Geschäfte mit den Islamisten. Von den Menschenrechten, in dem Fall aller Frauen, redet da niemand.

Als die Feministinnen ab den späten siebziger Jahren die Genitalverstümmlung kritisierten, wurden sie von der Linken des „weißen, bürgerlichen Eurozentrismus“ beschuldigt und angewiesen sich rauszuhalten. In Bezug auf die grausame Genitalverstümmelung gibt es inzwischen einen allgemeinen Sinneswandel. Müssen wir die Gesellschaftsfähigkeit der Burka auch noch zwanzig, dreißig Jahre gewähren lassen – bis es zu spät ist? Sollen wir uns wieder einmal raushalten, wenn vor unser aller Augen mitten unter uns Frauen ihrer elementarsten Menschenrechte beraubt und unsichtbar gemacht werden? Wollen wir immer noch nicht begreifen, dass es sich hier nicht um Glaubensfragen, sondern um gezielte politische Provokationen handelt, die dank unserer falschen Toleranz die Grenzen des Rechtsstaates überschreiten könnten?

Symbolische Politik ist auch Politik

„Sollen wir die Burka verbieten?“, wurde ich jüngst bei einer öffentlichen Veranstaltung gefragt. Was für eine Frage! Selbstverständlich ja! Mit welchen spitzfindigen formaljuristischen Formulierungen auch immer. Denn es gibt Grenzen der „Religionsfreiheit“. Mit der wollen ja auch christliche Fundamentalisten zum Beispiel begründen, wenn sie ihre Kinder nicht in unsere Schulen schicken. Schon seit Papst Johannes Paul II. ist übrigens ein Schulterschluss zwischen den Konservativen und Fundamentalisten beider Religionen zu beobachten. Im Visier haben sie beide dabei ihre Privilegien und die Selbstbestimmung der Frauen. Das ist eine auch für die Christen gefährliche Strategie. Denn sie würden am Ende den Kürzeren ziehen.

Ein Burka-Verbot sei nur symbolische Politik und das Problem der Unterwanderung durch den schriftgläubigen Steinzeit-Islamismus damit nicht gelöst, argumentieren die ganz Schlauen. Das stimmt. Aber symbolische Politik ist auch Politik. Und ein Verbot wären ein erster Schritt und ein sichtbares Zeichen – nicht nur für die unsichtbaren Frauen. Nicht zufällig verabschiedete das französische Parlament das Burka-Verbot am Vorabend des 14. Juli, des Jahrestags der Französischen Revolution – am Nationalfeiertag selbst wird in Frankreich nicht gearbeitet, sondern gefeiert. Diese Französische Revolution proklamierte vor über zweihundert Jahren die „Freiheit, Gleichheit und Brüderlichkeit“ für alle Menschen. Und wir Frauen fügten die „Schwesterlichkeit“, genauer: die „Geschwisterlichkeit“ hinzu. Dahinter wollen wir nicht mehr zurückfallen.

Alice Schwarzer

Alice Schwarzer

Alice Schwarzer ist Gründerin und Herausgeberin der Zeitschrift „Emma“. Im September erscheint das von ihr herausgegebene Buch „Die große Verschleierung“ im Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch

Text: F.A.Z.
Bildmaterial: picture alliance / dpa, picture-alliance/ dpa

Posted in Dhimmitude, Islam, Islamisierung, Islamkritik, Sharia | Leave a Comment »

Muslims Debate asked Mr. Geert Wilders: Why he became anti-Islam and what is his message to the Muslims

Posted by paulipoldie on July 22, 2010

I first visited an Islamic country in 1982.

I was 18 years old and had traveled with a Dutch friend from Eilat in Israel to the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh.

We were two almost penniless backpacking students.

We slept on the beaches and found hospitality with Egyptians, who spontaneously invited us to tea.

I clearly recall my very first impression of Egypt: I was overwhelmed by the kindness, friendliness and helpfulness of its people.

I also remember my second strong impression of Egypt: It struck me how frightened these friendly and kind people were.

While we were in Sharm el-Sheikh, President Mubarak happened to visit the place.

I remember the fear which suddenly engulfed the town when it was announced that Mubarak was coming on an unexpected visit; I can still see the cavalcade of black cars on the day of his visit and feel the almost physical awareness of fear, like a cold chill on that very hot day in Summer.

It was a weird experience; Mubarak is not considered the worst of the Islamic tyrants and yet, the fear of the ordinary Egyptians for their leader could be felt even by me. I wonder how Saudis feel when their King is in town, how Libyans feel when Gaddafi announces his coming, how Iraqis must have felt when Saddam Hussein was near. A few years later, I read in the Koran how the 7th century Arabs felt in the presence of Muhammad, who, as several verses describe, “cast terror into their hearts” (suras 8:12, 8:60, 33:26, 59:12).

From Sharm el-Sheikh, my friend and I went to Cairo. It was poor and incredibly dirty. My friend and I were amazed that such a poor and filthy place could be a neighbor of Israel, which was so clean. The explanation of the Arabs, with whom we discussed their poverty, was that they were not in any way to blame for this affliction: They said they were the victims of a global conspiracy of “imperialists” and “Zionists”, aimed at keeping Muslims poor and subservient. I found that explanation unconvincing. My instinct told me it had something to do with the different cultures of Israel and Egypt.

I made a mistake in Cairo. We had almost no money and I was thirsty. One could buy a glass of water at public water collectors. It did not look clean, but I drank it. I got a terrible diarrhea. I went to a hostel where one could rent a spot on the floor for two dollars a day. There I lay for several days, a heap of misery in a crowded, stinking room, with ten other guys. Once Egypt had been the most advanced civilization on earth. Why had it not progressed along with the rest of the world?

In the late 1890s, Winston Churchill was a soldier and a war correspondent in British India (contemporary Pakistan) and the Sudan. Churchill was a perceptive young man, whose months in Pakistan and the Sudan allowed him to grasp with amazing clarity what the problem is with Islam and “the curses it lays on its votaries.”

“Besides the fanatical frenzy, …, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy,” he wrote. “The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist where the followers of the Prophet rule or live. … The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to a sole man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. … Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities – but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it.” And Churchill concluded: “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

There are people who say that I hate Muslims. I do not hate Muslims. It saddens me how Islam has robbed them of their dignity.What Islam does to Muslims is visible in the way they treat their daughters. On March 11, 2002, fifteen Saudi schoolgirls died as they attempted to flee from their school in the holy city of Mecca. A fire had set the building ablaze. The girls ran to the school gates but these were locked. The keys were in the possession of a male guard, who refused to open the gates because the girls were not wearing the correct Islamic dress imposed on women by Saudi law: face veils and overgarments.

The “indecently” dressed girls frantically tried to save their young lives. The Saudi police beat them back into the burning building. Officers of the Mutaween, the “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice,” as the Police are known in Saudi Arabia, also beat passers-by and firemen who tried to help the girls. “It is sinful to approach them,” the policemen warned bystanders. It is not only sinful, it is also a criminal offence.

Girls are not valued highly in Islam; the Koran says that the birth of a daughter makes a father’s “face darken and he is filled with gloom” (sura 43:17). Nevertheless, the incident at the Mecca school drew angry reactions. Islam is inhumane; but Muslims are humans, hence capable of Love – that powerful force which Muhammad despised. Humanity prevailed in the Meccan fathers who were incensed over the deaths of their daughters; it also prevailed in the firemen who confronted the Mutaween when the latter were beating the girls back inside, and in the journalists of the Saudi paper which, for the first time in Saudi history, criticized the much feared and powerful “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.”

However, Muslim protests against Islamic inhumanity are rare. Most Muslims, even in Western countries, visit mosques and listen to shocking Koranic verses and to repulsive sermons without revolting against them.

I am an agnosticus myself. But Christians and Jews hold that God created man in His image. They believe that by observing themselves, as free and rational beings capable of love, they can come to know Him. They can even reason with Him, as the Jews have done throughout their history. The Koran, on the contrary, states that “Nothing can be compared with Allah” (sura 16:74, 42:11). He has absolutely nothing in common with us. It is preposterous to suppose that Allah created man in his image. The biblical concept that God is our father is not found in Islam. There is no personal relationship between man and Allah, either. The purpose of Islam is the total submission of oneself and others to the unknowable Allah, whom we must serve through total obedience to Muhammad as leader of the Islamic state (suras 3:31, 4:80, 24:62, 48:10, 57:28). And history has taught us that Muhammad was not at all a prophet of love and compassion, but a mass murderer, a tyrant and a pedophile. Muslims could not have a more deplorable role model.

Without individual freedom, it is not surprising that the notion of man as a responsible agent is not much developed in Islam. Muslims tend to be very fatalistic. Perhaps – let us certainly hope so – only a few radicals take the Koranic admonition to wage jihad on the unbelievers seriously. Nevertheless, most Muslims never raise their voice against the radicals. This is the “fearful fatalistic apathy” Churchill referred to.

The author Aldous Huxley, who lived in North Africa in the 1920s, made the following observation: “About the immediate causes of things – precisely how they happen – they seem to feel not the slightest interest. Indeed, it is not even admitted that there are such things as immediate causes: God is directly responsible for everything. ‘Do you think it will rain?’ you ask pointing to menacing clouds overhead. ‘If God wills,’ is the answer. You pass the native hospital. ‘Are the doctors good?’ ‘In our country,’ the Arab gravely replies, in the tone of Solomon, ‘we say that doctors are of no avail. If Allah wills that a man die, he will die. If not, he will recover.’ All of which is profoundly true, so true, indeed, that is not worth saying. To the Arab, however, it seems the last word in human wisdom. … They have relapsed – all except those who are educated according to Western methods – into pre-scientific fatalism, with its attendant incuriosity and apathy.”

Islam deprives Muslims of their freedom. That is a shame, because free people are capable of great things, as history has shown. The Arab, Turkish, Iranian, Indian, Indonesian peoples have tremendous potential. It they were not captives of Islam, if they could liberate themselves from the yoke of Islam, if they would cease to take Muhammad as a role model and if they got rid of the evil Koran, they would be able to achieve great things which would benefit not only them but the entire world.

As a Dutch, a European and a Western politician, my responsibility is primarily to the Dutch people, to the Europeans and the West. However, since the liberation of the Muslims from Islam, will benefit all of us, I wholeheartedly support Muslims who love freedom. My message to them is clear: “Fatalism is no option; ‘Inch’ Allah’ is a curse; Submission is a disgrace.”

Free yourselves. It is up to you.

Geert Wilders


Posted in Geert Wilders | Leave a Comment »

Bon Jovi Islam

Posted by paulipoldie on July 20, 2010

Senator Lieberman is livin’ on a prayer

by Andrew C. McCarthy

We’ve tried “radical Islam,” “extremist Islam,” “fundamentalist Islam,” and “sharia Islam.” Inevitably, political correctness gave us “political Islam.” Now, ironically, under the guise of correcting an even worse case of political correctness, comes what we might call “Bon Jovi Islam.” Its proponent, Sen. Joe Lieberman, is halfway there and livin’ on a prayer.

Sen. Lieberman’s Wall Street Journal essay “Who’s the Enemy in the War on Terror?” gets it halfway right. He is justifiably dismayed over the Obama administration’s whitewashing of the Islamist part of Islamist terror. The president, he elaborates, “rightly reaffirms that America remains a nation at war,” but self-defeatingly “refuses to identify our enemy.” For Lieberman, the administration’s preferred claim that we are at war with “violent extremism,” is absurd. Our foe, in truth, is a particular, identifiable component of the Muslim world.

All exactly right . . . except that Lieberman proceeds to do the very thing he accuses Obama of doing: miniaturizing the threat. The enemy, he pronounces, is “violent Islamist extremism.” He diagnoses its cause to be “a terrorist political ideology” that “exploits” what most Muslims, according to Lieberman, understand to be “the enormous difference between their faith” and this ideology’s tenets.

“Exploits” is a telling choice of words. Lieberman mines it from the Bush administration’s 2006 National Security Strategy — the framework Obama has rejected because it dared utter the I-word. The senator recounts that President Bush identified the enemy as “the transnational terrorists [who] exploit the proud religion of Islam to serve a violent political vision.”

Yet the Bush administration didn’t always frame it that way. Bush officials were wont to say that those wily terrorists were “perverting” or “twisting” or outright “lying” about Muslim scripture in order to justify their atrocities. The apotheosis of this relentlessly optimistic vision came in 2008, when the dreamy side of the Bush house elbowed aside more clear-eyed critics and declared a jihad on “jihad” — the word. Admonishing us that we must no longer invoke “jihad” to describe jihadist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security rationalized that “many so-called ‘Islamic’ terrorist groups [so-called?] twist and exploit the tenets of Islam to justify violence.” As I countered at the time (and rehearse in my new book, The Grand Jihad):

The Koran . . . commands, in Sura 9:123 (to take just one of many examples), “O ye who believe, fight those of the disbelievers who are near you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty unto him.” What part of that does DHS suppose needs to be “twisted” by terrorists in order to gull fellow Muslims into believing Islam commands Muslims to “fight those of the disbelievers who are near you, and let them find harshness in you”?

I was far from the only one who complained. Since then, “twist,” “pervert,” and “lie” have faded from government’s Islamophilic vocabulary. So we’re left with “exploit.” Except there’s a problem for Senator Lieberman: You can only exploit something that’s actually there. It only made sense for the Islamophiles to use “exploit” when they were also alleging that Islamist claims about Muslim doctrine were fabrications. But those claims are real. If, as Lieberman maintains, terrorists are able to “exploit . . . Islam to serve a violent political vision,” it is because Islamic doctrine does, in fact, support a violent political vision. This doesn’t mean there can’t be competing interpretations. Jihadists, however, are not making theirs up — it’s in the scriptures.

More significantly, violence is not the principal concern here, though it is certainly the immediate one. Our real challenge is that, violent or not, Islamic doctrine constitutes a political vision. That is, Islam is not a mere religion as we understand the concept in the West — a set of spiritual guidelines that are denied governing authority in what is a separate, secular realm. Mainstream Islam calls for a comprehensive political, economic, legal, and social theocracy. Its spiritual elements are only a small part of the system, and it rejects the concept of divisibility between mosque and state.

Nor is it only terrorists who construe Islam this way — not by a long shot. Islamists have the full-throated support of Islam’s most influential clerical and jurisprudential authorities. These include the leading faculty at Egypt’s al-Azhar University, the seat of learning for Sunnis, who compose the vast majority of the world’s Muslims. To be sure, there is a vibrant debate in the ummah about terrorism, as such. That, in reality, is a debate about tactics. There is broad consensus about the strategic goal: Non-terrorist Muslims substantially agree with the terrorists that Islam commands the establishment of sharia societies.

Senator Lieberman claims that, for most Muslims, there is an “enormous difference between their faith and the terrorist political ideology that has exploited it.” That is not true. There are differences about terrorism, but there is a broad accord when it comes to the political ideology. The mainstream of Islam — by no means all Muslims, but many Muslims, including many of the most influential — is convinced that America is the problem in the world. A great number of Muslims in America — again not all, but many — believes that the U.S. should be a sharia society, notwithstanding sharia’s core differences with our culture of freedom based on individual liberty.

Even with respect to terrorism, it is not accurate to say there is “enormous” disagreement between the mass of Muslims and the terrorists. The difference is narrow and nuanced. The argument is over whether terrorism in America, as opposed to outside America, is counterproductive.

The Muslim Brotherhood, backed by billions of Saudi petrodollars, has spent half a century building an aggressive Islamist infrastructure here. It is led by the Muslim Students Associations (more than 600 chapters in the U.S. and Canada), the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust, the Muslim American Society, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and similar groups. It is making ample progress marching sharia through our institutions. Hence, the argument: Many Muslims — including many who’ve lionized Osama bin Laden in the past, or rationalized his atrocities as being, in the final analysis, America’s fault — now think violence in the United States is unnecessary. They see it as objectionable, because it has killed Muslims indiscriminately, and as unproductive, because it is apt to rouse Americans to roll back sharia’s gains. These Muslims agree that America deserves its comeuppance, but they believe there are more effective ways than terrorism to bring that about.

The primary threat this cabal poses in our homeland is not violence, as Lieberman posits. It is sabotage. Don’t take my word for it: The Muslim Brotherhood itself put the matter bluntly in a 1991 internal memorandum: The organization and its satellites are engaged in a “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within” by “sabotage.” Theirs is not only, or even principally, a “violent political ideology.” It is a political ideology aiming to supplant us, by hook or by crook. The question of violent or non-violent means is tactical, and it is secondary.

Moreover, outside the United States, there is broad Muslim support — not unanimous, but broad — for terrorism against Israel and against Americans operating in Muslim countries. Taking their cues from al-Azhar and other influential centers, millions of Muslims deny that those mass murders are “terrorism” at all; they call it “resistance.” That’s why they can look you in the eye and say they “condemn terrorism,” though you can never get them to condemn Hamas or Hezbollah by name. Those terrorist organizations now claim democratic legitimacy because Muslims — not just terrorists, but rank-and-file Muslims — flocked to the polls in Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories to vote for them, just as millions of Muslims in Iraq have voted for the Islamist parties that canoodle with Iran and Hezbollah while slamming us and ostracizing Israel.

Senator Lieberman is to be applauded for criticizing the Obama administration’s refusal to come to terms with the Islamist enemy. Still, despite chastising the president for violating Sun Tzu’s axiom that “the first rule in war is to know your enemy so you can defeat it,” Lieberman, too, is in violation when he fails to acknowledge that violence isn’t the half of the civilizational challenge we face.

The senator, furthermore, is livin’ on a prayer in insisting that there is a thriving, preponderant, moderate Islam. He declares:

There is no question that violent Islamist extremists seek to provoke a “clash of civilizations,” and that we must discredit this hateful lie. We must encourage and empower the non-violent Muslim majority to raise their voices to condemn the Islamist extremist ideology as a desecration of Islam, responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of innocent Muslims and people of other faiths. How can we expect those Muslims to have the courage to stand and do that if we are unwilling to define and describe the enemy as dramatically different from them?

If only wishing could make it so. Though there is a non-violent Muslim majority, in the sense that most Muslims would not commit terrorist acts, that majority does not condemn what Lieberman calls “the Islamist extremist ideology.” Far from thinking it a “desecration of Islam,” they agree with it. They don’t agree with the violence in America. But maybe we should ask Israel — a state made a pariah for defending itself against a ceaseless terrorist onslaught — if the world’s Muslims are condemning Hamas or rising up in its support. Maybe we should ask the al-Azhar faculty what its response was when Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide and the world’s most influential Sunni cleric, issued fatwas approving suicide bombings in Israel and the killing of American troops in Iraq.

In the real world, with the real Islam, Israel is isolated because Muslims globally support Hamas’s cause and increasingly goad the West into going along. The al-Azhar faculty rallied behind Qaradawi because mainstream Islam views efforts to implant Western notions and institutions in Muslim countries as affronts that must be met with violence until the Westerners leave, even if the Westerners believe they are doing humanitarian work to help Muslims. One senses that Senator Lieberman understands these unhappy truths. Why else would he take pains to note that terrorists have murdered “innocent Muslims”? The sad fact is that the murder of innocent non-Muslims is not enough to move the ummah.

Halfway there and livin’ on a prayer won’t work. A dominant, Westernized, post-sharia Islamic ideology will not suddenly emerge just because we’d like it to. As might have been said by Dean Acheson, whom Senator Lieberman admiringly quotes, pretending otherwise won’t make us inoffensive to our enemies or able to protect our freedom.

Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

Posted in Islam, Islamization, Islamophobia, Must Read | 1 Comment »

The Meme of the Living Dead

Posted by paulipoldie on July 19, 2010

by Baron Bodissey


I’ve reported on several previous occasions about “The Meme That Would Not Die”. Every time I think it’s dead and buried, it claws its way out of the grave and walks abroad, trailing clods of dank earth.

I’m talking about the venerable canard that Vlaams Belang is “fascist”. Or, if you’re a bit fastidious, and don’t want to go all the way, Vlaams Belang is “neo-fascist”. Or maybe “neo-Nazi”, just to make sure the ghost of Auschwitz hovers in the air over your revenant totalitarian.

Frank Vanhecke, Schumann Square, Sept. 11 2007

Whenever the Vlaams-Belang-is-fascist smear is resurrected, I repost the above photo and say:

Look at this picture. Now, tell me: Who are the real fascists?

For the record, the man in the photo is Frank Vanhecke, the party leader of Vlaams Belang. On September 11, 2007, during a peaceful demonstration against Islamization in Brussels, he and other party leaders were knocked down, roughed up, handcuffed, and hauled away to jail by the police. Mr. Vanhecke even had to endure the pain and humiliation of being grabbed by the privates and perp-walked to the bus with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Now, tell me again: Who are the real fascists?

But the meme will not die. Its most recent visit to the land of the living came back in January, when the New York Times Magazine published an article about the LGF wars which included interviews with Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. The author referred to Vlaams Belang as “neofascist”, and said, “Even to most right-wing sensibilities, Vlaams Belang is certainly beyond the pale.”

The most jaw-dropping moment in the article came during the author’s interview with Robert Spencer:

“Filip Dewinter has said some things I deplore,” Spencer says. “But I don’t consider myself responsible for him just because I was at this conference and he was, too. That’s an outrageous kind of guilt by association. Let me ask you this: a few years ago I spoke at a Yom Kippur service, and one of the other speakers was Hillary Clinton. Does that make me a supporter or her work, or her of mine?” [emphasis added]

By referring to “guilt” without even an “alleged” to soften it, Mr. Spencer implicitly supported the author’s contention that Vlaams Belang is “neofascist”. That even a redoubtable Counterjihad warrior like Robert Spencer could still be held in thrall by the “fascist” smear only goes to show how hard the meme is to kill.

Then, of course, we had Glenn Beck and his “fascist” scattergun spraying all those European “right-wing extremists”, including Geert Wilders.

But it gets even worse. The most recent issue of National Review features an article entitled “Censorship as ‘Tolerance’“ by Jacob Mchangama. In the third paragraph of an otherwise excellent overview of the suppression of free speech in Europe, Mr. Mchangama says:
– – – – – – – – –

In Belgium, the admittedly quasi-fascist Flemish-nationalist party Vlaams Blok (now Vlaams Belang) was convicted of racism in 2004.

“Admittedly”? Who “admitted” it?

And where’s the evidence of “fascism”?

Nobody has any. This is just something that everybody knows.

Yes, the Meme of the Living Dead is back. If the venue were The New York Times or The New Republic, it would be a “ho-hum, there they go again” moment. We could simply ignore it and go about our business.

But National Review??

As its in-house superstar, the magazine’s masthead boasts Jonah Goldberg, the author of the indispensable Liberal Fascism. Couldn’t they have asked his advice about the definition of “fascism”?

Nobody knows better than Mr. Goldberg the most important fact about fascism, one that the socialists and communists have successfully obfuscated for the past seventy years: fascism is a form of totalitarian socialism. Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini were three peas in a totalitarian pod.

Vlaams Belang, on the other hand, is one of the most liberty-oriented free-market parties in Europe. It’s less socialist than the Republican Party of the United States. What makes it the enemy of the Belgian (and EU) establishment is its unabashed nationalism and its push for an independent Flanders. This puts it beyond the pale, and makes the “fascist” label necessary so that it can be confined to the Outer Nazi Darkness along with all the other politically unacceptable groups.

And let’s face it: when the detractors of Vlaams Belang say “fascist”, they deliberately conflate the word with “Nazi”, with the ultimate goal being to bring the Holocaust Cone of Silence down over the party so that its message can never, ever be heard by anyone who hopes to remain respectable.

This shunning of “Nazis” is very effective. It results in what I call the Screaming Nazi Heeber-Jeebers, a highly contagious affliction that causes anyone so accused to run and hide under the bed and keep very, very quiet until the fever passes.

The appropriate response to the Nazi accusation is not to deny it, because denial implicitly acknowledges the validity of the assumptions behind the accusation. The proper reaction is to ignore the accuser, or even better, laugh in his face.

Just imagine a prominent talking head on TV, one of the usual conservative suspects. Picture him being called “racist” or a “fascist”. Now see him double over with laughter at his interviewer, tears running down his face, speechless in his merriment.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
Vlaams Belang is repeatedly smeared as “fascist” because of its predecessor, Vlaams Blok. If you trace its history far enough back, you find ex-Nazis and Nazi sympathizers. This puts the modern party beyond the pale, even though none of those old leaders remain, and there’s no sign of Jew-hatred left in Vlaams Belang.

The ugly secret about Belgium — and most of the rest of Europe — is that there are far more anti-Semites on the Left than the Right, and farther Left you go, the more virulent the Jew-hatred. Filip Dewinter has steadfastly championed the Jews of Antwerp in the Flemish parliament, while some of his socialist colleagues were marching in alongside radical Muslims, chanting “Hamas! Hamas! Jews to the gas!”

We have a parallel situation in the United States with the Democrats, who until the 1960s were the party of bigotry, segregation, and white supremacy. Forty years later Sen. Robert Byrd could hang with the Progressives, despite the fact that he was a former Ku Klux Klan leader. Nobody held it against him.

However, any Republican who ventures within a hundred miles of a Confederate flag can expect a tsunami of vitriol branding him a “racist”, a “supporter of slavery”, and much, much more. There’s nothing anyone can do anything about this double standard; it’s just the way the rigged media game works. The Progressives get away with virtually anything, but a conservative is doomed.

It’s the same with the communists. Ex-communists — some of them with blood on their hands — have practiced politics openly in Europe since 1989. There’s a tacit agreement among the elite not to look too closely at the past indiscretions of the Left, but the Right is fair game.

And so it is with Vlaams Belang. After years and years of attacks, the only thing definite its opponents could come up with is that Filip Dewinter has a cross on his bookshelf. Nevertheless, the rules of the game make the party “neo-fascist”, and that’s that. Everybody knows it.

Et tu, National Review?

It’s time to sharpen our wooden stakes and dust off the silver bullets: this undead meme needs to be sent to its final abode.

Posted in Brainwashing, Must Read | Leave a Comment »

Celebrating Multicultural Education in Austria

Posted by paulipoldie on July 19, 2010

by Baron Bodissey

Our Austrian correspondent AMT drew our attention to the following article from Kurier, which features an interview with the director of a multicultural school in Vienna, almost all of whose students are now foreigners.

You’ll notice that the director — despite the fact that 98.5% of the children under her care do not speak German as their native language — still issues the standard Multicultural party line. She takes every opportunity during the interview to celebrate the diversity of her school, as if she were totally unaware of the devastating long-term consequences of eroding the native culture of her city.

Many thanks to JLH for translating it from the German. AMT’s commentary appears at the end of translation:

Multicultural School: “Bring All the Children Into the Boat”

98.5% Foreigners, Only 3 in 200 Children Are Catholic. Now, Straight Talk from the Director of this School in a Kurier Interview

Awarding of certificates at the most cited school in Vienna last Friday. Chechen, Turkish, Chinese, African and Serbian children romp in front of the entrance. One student is leaning against a house wall in a side street, furtively puffing on a cigarette.

Vienna-Brigittenau: In a row here are Café Amor, Pizza Capri, Mek Leskvac Charcoal Grill, Johnny’s Cell Phone Shop. In between is a dart club, as lonesome as the few Austrian passers-by walking Dammstrasse. Of the 200 children in the school at Greiseneckerstrasse 29/1, only three are Roman Catholic — a fact which has caused some uproar in the past weeks. Even Cardinal Christoph Schönborn took the occasion to say some words of warning. The reason: By law, religious instruction only occurs if at least three children participate in it. A close call. The multi-culti school is a drastic example.

Among the directorship, there is a mood contemplating closing the school, but also mild exasperation at the sudden attention. On the wall is a drawing by Anna for the director: “You are the dearest and most beautiful (woman) in the world.”

“This controversy comes to me as the child to the virgin,” laments Ilse Riesinger, head of the truly colorful “Butterfly School,” which has not been an isolated case for some time now. In an interview with the Kurier, the educator spoke of prejudices, parallel societies and why so many different nations in one spot in the “Vienna International School” are chic, and in Wien-Brigittenau are frowned upon.

Kurier: Madame Director, do you understand the excitement that flared up around your school after a newspaper report?

Ilse Riesinger: No, I was horrified! First, it was said that we only had two Roman Catholic children left and religious instruction could not be offered. But that report was in error; there were still three! It would have been nice if we had been contacted, to determine the facts. Now it looks as though we went out with our butterfly net caught a Roman Catholic child somewhere.

Kurier: Don’t take this badly, but a child more or less does not change the fact that, let us say, a great imbalance dominates in your school.

Riesinger: That is true at considerably more schools than ours. This residential area has a great multicultural background. There are Roman Catholic children, Islamic, Serbian Orthodox… Altogether, we have sixteen nationalities: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, China, Pakistan, Somalia, Poland, Germany, Rumania, Philippines, India, Albania, Slovakia, Macedonia

Kurier: How does that affect instruction?

Riesinger: Concerning religious instruction, it is logistically not simple. But we can circumvent the environment. It is sometimes tedious, but where is that not the case? I see it above all as a challenge.

Kurier: Many parents see it as threatening, when the children who cannot speak German are in the majority, which is a polite way of defining 98.5%.

Riesinger: I am happy to invite those parents to come to the school and observe. We make an intensive effort in pre-school to make sure that all children master their mother tongue as well as German. We take that slowly. Because it is our job to bring all children into the boat.

Kurier: And that is not a disadvantage for children who just want to learn?

Riesinger: We complete the same lesson plan as all other schools. To be sure, it is a pedagogical and cultural challenge. But it is also an enormous enrichment for both sides.

Kurier: Why is it fashionable to have so many nationalities in the Vienna International School, but here people wrinkle their noses?

Riesinger: That is due to PR on the one hand, and on other, money. The VIS is sponsored by UNO. The parents have a completely different financial background. Here in Brigittenau, you can have the multicultural environment for free (laughs).

– – – – – – – –

Kurier: There are nationalities at the VIS and also German-speaking children but more equitably distributed.

Riesinger: Yes, but how are supposed to solve that in Brigittenau? Maybe send a few children to the 13th or 18th district? I don’t think the parents would agree. Although they travel to Turkey and love the country.

Kurier: Are there crosses hanging in your classrooms?

Riesinger: In some yes, in others no. We never talked about that. St. Nicholas visits one year but not another. We have an Advent wreath and have Christmas singing, but also Christmas song from other countries or continents are sung. When so many nationalities are all pulling together, it is lovely.

Kurier: That is certainly a subject of interest to FP party leader Strache. And for many parents, cultural identity is important for their children.

Riesinger: Basically, I don’t listen to what Mr. Strache says. He is always talking about a parallel society. But we here are a together society. We have to integrate and hold together, not discriminate and exclude.

Kurier: So, is the suggestion of Mayor Häupl to create Islamic schools a stupid idea?

Riesinger: I would rather not comment on that.

Kurier: Cardinal Schönborn has warned against a demographic development where religious instruction in Viennese public schools is teetering on the brink.

Riesinger: I understand that the cardinal is concerned. But [religious] instruction is taking place. There is an hour per week out of a total of 22 hours of instruction. Under the cover of religious instruction, it is about something completely different.

Kurier: It is still taking place…

Riesinger: We are trying very hard for a mix. We certainly cannot help the Church more than we now do.

Kurier: Mrs. Riesinger, do you sometimes wish you were in a different district?

Riesinger: Absolutely not. I have been working in Brigittenau for twenty years, first as a teacher, and for six years now as director here at the Butterfly School. I know the realities of life in this district. Schools are a reflection of that and we all have to deal with that, politics as well as society.

Kurier: If you could have a wish for the next school year, what would it be?

Riesinger: More teachers! I still need four teachers. After this summer, three of them are retiring; one of them is going on sabbatical. Maybe as a result of the Kurier report, a few will apply for our school at the Viennese school council, now that it is in the headlines.

Kurier: Speaking of teachers: are you a fan or a foe of the Kurier school attorney?

Riesinger: I regard him with a certain healthy distance. It is fine for every pupil to be represented, but I sometimes have the impression that bad news outweighs other news.

However, perhaps the negative headlines are just the ones we educators notice.

AMT adds these comments:

The establishment must be getting desperate to rein in its disciples: More and more articles are springing up in the Austrian MSM loudly praising the merits of multiculturalism and the need for immigration, without which Austria, as the rest of the Western world, will not survive.

This interview is particularly hard to bear for someone who is not a true believer. It is, above all, interesting to note that the headmistress talks about the difficulties of her own heavily enriched school, especially in view of the required religious instruction, but fails to mention that the Vienna International School (VIS) was built to cater to the needs of the United Nations and embassy personnel in Vienna. It is a non-denominational school, its foremost goal being the integration of students from literally all over the world into an international school system, enabling them to finish their school years, where otherwise most of them would lose a year or two in the “local” school system because of the language barrier. However, each student at VIS must study German. There are no exceptions to this rule.

One another note: the headmistress mentions that she refuses to listen to what FPÖ party leader Heinz-Christian Strache says. Considering that, she appears to know quite well what he says and means. As is usual for the multiculti fanatics, she fails to explain precisely the merits of students being held back because the majority does not speak even rudimentary German. In contrast, nearly all students at VIS speak English. That is an important commonality.

A slightly different version of this post was published in two parts at Big Peace.

Posted in Österreich, Brainwashing, Gates of Vienna / Big Peace, Islamization, Sharia | 2 Comments »

The New Voice of the International Counterjihad

Posted by paulipoldie on July 19, 2010

by Baron Bodissey

IFA logo
As I mentioned yesterday, Geert Wilders has launched a new initiative against Islamization called the “Geert Wilders International Freedom Alliance”. Below is an article from De Telegraaf about the launch of the new movement.

Many thanks to our Flemish correspondent VH for the translation of both the article the video, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Wilders is working on an international network

Geert Wilders is building an international umbrella organization for organizations and individuals who in his eyes “struggle for freedom and against Islam,” as does the PVV [Party for Freedom]. He strives to present the so-called International Freedom Alliance (IFA) at the end of this year, together with likeminded people in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

Wilders begins international movement

VIDEO exclusively for the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Geert Wilders talks about his plans to launch a new international movement. The “Geert Wilders International Freedom Alliance”. [A full transcript is at the bottom of this post.]

This is what the PVV leader announced Thursday (July 15). Wilders says he will work together with prominent persons on the IFA, but does not want to provide their names yet.

– – – – – – – – –

The people who want to support the IFA do not necessarily need to be directly politically active. According to Wilders many countries lack a voice such as the PVV provides, yet there is a need for it. For example, he pointed at French and British politics, where in his eyes, right-wing voters have to choose between conservative or “not quite fresh” extreme right and racist parties.

Notwithstanding the fact that the leader of the Party for Freedom in Dutch Parliament is now working on an international network, he said that his post will remain in the Netherlands: “99 percent of my work is here.” The idea for the IFA however, emerged abroad. “I was asked there: why is that voice not represented in our country?” Geert Wilders’ aim is a follow up on that.

Not a PVV International

“It is also is not a PVV International”, Wilders emphasized. It must be an umbrella for the like-minded in the world, to support each other. The IFA can provide financial, organizational and ideological support to individuals and organizations worldwide to “set something in motion “ and exercise “influence on politics”.

The selection for the IFA however, according to Wilders, must be done carefully. People and organizations must be willing to change something. They must have “the guts” and “be kosher”. By incorporating the protection of Israel in the principles of the umbrella organization, “we will, as I hope, also keep the wrong-headed outside the door,” he said.

The intention is that with the presentation at the end of this year, an IFA web site will also be launched. On his website a clarification will be provided in Dutch, English, French, German, and perhaps also in Arabic.

Video transcript:

0:05 I want to announce today that we will start an international movement,
0:12 [Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf”]
0:16 the International Freedom Alliance,
0:18 “Geert Wilders International Freedom Alliance” it is has even been called,
0:20 is an international organization which focuses
0:24 — allow me to first say it in English — on two points:
0:28 Defend Freedom and Stop Islam.
0:31 The defense of our freedom and stopping Islam in the Western world.
0:36 This will be an international organization. We will focus first on five countries:
0:43 Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.
0:46 In each of the five countries during the next six months
0:49 I will also deliver an address there and announce this [initiative].
0:52 I hope it will become a huge success.
0:55 For it is not just a Dutch problem that our freedom is being curtailed and Islam is advancing,
1:01 it is a problem for the entire free West,
1:04 and it is a problem that people — whether in the Netherlands,
1:08 or in Denmark, or in France — can always see, but the forces are not getting together.
1:14 And if we succeed in bundling those forces, and are able to help people to proclaim this voice
1:18 and are also able to change the political and social [situation] in their countries,
1:22 then this would be something magnificent.
1:26 It thus is a new initiative, and I have great expectations for it.
1:30 My basic work and responsibility of course lies in the Netherlands;
1:33 here I will continue to do 99% of my work,
1:35 and here in the Netherlands, in parliament, I will fight for those 1.5 million voters,
1:38 but the people in the Netherlands also are aware
1:40 that this is not just a Dutch problem, but a problem for the entire free West.
1:44 And to dedicate some of my energy to this also is more than worth it.
1:49 Q: “With this news, it is quite likely you will get the entire Muslim world all over you.
1:51 Are you ready for that?”
1:59 Yes, I am ready for that. I realize that very well.
2:03 It is not my intention, however; my intention is never to get other people all over me,
2:08 but I think that I also have a responsibility
2:12 which stretches farther than just the Netherlands,
2:16 and I think that we, by stopping Islamization and struggling for this freedom
2:21 — for you, for me, for journalists, for women, for people who want to leave Islam,
2:24 for children, for anyone else —
2:27 that we should take this seriously, and I want to stick my neck out for that.
2:31 We are going to do this in a very professional manner.
2:34 Again, we will take this on in a variety of countries.
2:38 Q: “You will also enter the debate?” I will also enter the debate, I will also go there.
2:41 Q: “with the Muslim community?”
2:43 Certainly, but this must be dealt with more at an international level,
2:48 and in many countries it will not be applauded, but that must not be a reason not to do this.
2:57 Q: “Why is this the moment to come forward with this?”
3:01 Well, of course I want to indicate that we will be coming up with this,
3:04 and this may also result in support.
3:06 You mention people and countries who undoubtedly may become angry with the initiative
3:10 but there will also be quite a lot of people who consider this to be a wonderful initiative.
3:14 I think, right after my trial —which if all goes well will be completed in November —
3:18 we will come forward with this.
3:21 Q: “But why do you announce the news today,
3:25 while you are right in the middle of [government-formation] talks?”
3:28 Well, I could also have done this last week or next month, there is no —
3:33 Q: “Could you no wait till after a new government has been formed?”
3:36 This could have been. That has nothing to do with it.
3:38 Look, if I were to be in the government myself,
3:41 I would not — except for this organization carrying my name — interfere with it.
3:44 Thus I’d step back, and I do not interfere,
3:46 so that is not at all standing in the way. And if I were to be in the opposition
3:49 I’d be more active in it.
3:51 It therefore does not in any way infringe with participation in a government.
3:55 Q: “Your safety, that will be even more at stake after this news.”
3:59 Yes, I hope not, but that may very well be, it is as you say.
4:03 Q: “You have taken that into account?”
4:05 Well look here, considering that for the past six years I have had protection,
4:08 where, every time I say something or do something, I take my security into consideration,
4:12 then I might as well go home and lock myself up in the bedroom,
4:15 spend the day in bed and watch TV,
4:18 which may be fun for one day, but that’s not what I intend to do.
4:23 So you should not always — actually, always not — let that be a guideline;
4:29 you may take that into account,
4:31 but you should not leave things behind because you are afraid of your safety.

Posted in Counterjihad | Leave a Comment »

The Shared Extremism of Neo-Nazis and Migrant Youth

Posted by paulipoldie on July 18, 2010

By Sven Röbel

The synagogue in Worms became the target of an arson attack in  mid-May. The authorities still don't know who was behind the attack.

DDP images/Martin Oeser

The synagogue in Worms became the target of an arson attack in mid-May. The authorities still don’t know who was behind the attack.

Following an anti-Semitic attack in Hanover, German authorities have identified a new source of anti-Semitic hatred in Germany: young migrants from Muslim families. The ideological alliance has officials concerned.

It was supposed to be a carefree festival in Sahlkamp on the outskirts of the northern German city of Hanover. Billed as an “International Day” to celebrate social diversity and togetherness, the June celebration included performances by a multicultural children’s choir called “Happy Rainbow” and the German-Turkish rap duo 3-K. Music from Afghanistan was also on the program.

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But then the mood suddenly shifted.

When Hajo Arnds, the organizer of the neighborhood festival, stepped onto the stage at about 6:45 p.m. to announce the next performance, by the Jewish dance group Chaverim, he was greeted with catcalls. “Jews out!” some of the roughly 30 young people standing in front of the stage began shouting. “Gone with the Jews!”

The voices were those of children — voices full of hate, shouted in unison and amplified by a toy megaphone. Arnds, the organizer, was shocked. He knew many of the children, most of them from Arab immigrant families in the neighborhood.

A social worker, Arnds tried using the tools of his profession — words — to save the situation. But his words were met with stones, thrown at the stage by people taking cover in the crowd. One of the stones hit a female Chaverim dancer in the leg, resulting in an angry bruise.

Inflammatory Propaganda and Criminal Violence

Arnds immediately cancelled the dance performance. Still speaking through the microphone, he said that he wasn’t sure whether the festival could even continue after this incident. When adults walked to the front of the crowd to confront and talk to the children, they were verbally abused, and some of the teenagers ran away. The Jewish dance group was taken to a safe place, and the festival was allowed to continue. The last performance of the evening was by a duo singing Russian songs. “They’re not Jews,” one of the young people in front of the stage shouted, “so they can perform here.” A criminal complaint was not filed with the police until several days later.

Until now, attacks on Jews, Jewish institutions and Jewish symbols have almost always been committed by right-wing extremist groups. In the first quarter of 2010 alone, the German Interior Ministry documented 183 anti-Semitic offences committed by right-wing radicals, including graffiti, inflammatory propaganda and physical violence.

The stone-throwing incident in Hanover, however, has finally forced the authorities to take a closer look at a group of offenders that, though largely overlooked until now, is no less motivated by anti-Zionist sentiments: adolescents and young adults from an immigrant community who are influenced by Islamist ideas and are prepared to commit acts of violence.

An informal and accidental alliance has been developing for some time between neo-Nazis and some members of a group they would normally despise: Muslim immigrants. The two groups seem to share vaguely similar anti-Semitic ideologies.

Right-wing extremists and Islamists, says Heinz Fromm, the president of the German domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), are united by “a common bogeyman: Israel and the Jews as a whole.” While German right-wing extremists cultivate a “more or less obvious racist anti-Semitism,” says Fromm, the Islamists are “oriented toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and support “anti-Zionist ideological positions, which can also have anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic overtones.” Both extremist movements, says Fromm, “ascribe extraordinary political power to Israel and the Jews, and their goal is to fight this power.”

‘A Tree, a Noose, a Jew’s Neck’

Although the BfV has not separately identified anti-Semitic crimes associated with Islamist groups until now, investigators are paying close attention to the development of anti-Jewish tendencies within the milieu.

Anti-Semitism from the two groups shows itself in different ways in Germany. On the one hand, there are the efforts of extremist right-wing groups, which tend to follow a certain pattern. During a football match in April, for example, supporters of SV Mügeln-Ablass 09, a district-league football club in the eastern state of Saxony, chanted “a tree, a noose, a Jew’s neck” and “we’re building a subway, from Jerusalem to Auschwitz,” until the match was stopped.

According to the German government’s response to a parliament inquiry by Left Party politician Petra Pau, Jewish cemeteries in Germany are defaced, vandalized or destroyed about once every 10 days. Memorial sites are also frequently targeted. Last month, for example, extremists defaced a memorial plaque in the western city of Bochum, a Jewish cemetery in Babenhausen in the state of Hesse and a memorial in Beckum in the Münsterland region.

On the other hand, say BfV officials, Islamist ideologues are creating problems with their anti-Israeli tirades, which are being broadcast on the Internet and television. “You can expect this sort of propaganda to have an impact on certain social groups,” says Fromm.

The Israelis’ bloody military intervention against a flotilla of aid vessels off the coast of Gaza on May 31, in which nine Turkish activists where shot dead, has triggered a new wave of hate. The Jewish community in Berlin promptly reported “a rapid increase in anti-Semitic propaganda and death threats against Jews on the Internet.” This is particularly the case on Facebook where, according to Jewish officials in Berlin, users like Ulubas L. are spreading their message of hate with statements like: “The only good Jew is a dead Jew.”

Breeding Ground

TV productions like the Iranian series “Zahra’s Blue Eyes,” broadcast into the living rooms of immigrant families in Germany, only add to the problem. The program is based on a horror story in which a fictitious Israeli general has doctors remove the eyes of a Palestinian girl so that they can be transplanted into his blind son.

Such propaganda apparently serves as a breeding ground for anti-Jewish sentiments among poorly integrated members of the immigrant community — sentiments which can quickly explode into violence. In late June, for example, two Israeli tourists made the mistake of conversing in Hebrew at a Berlin nightclub. Another guest, apparently of Palestinian descent, asked them where they were from. When one of the tourists, a 22-year-old man, replied, “from Israel,” the man attacked him and his companion.

The situation escalated when a Turkish-born bouncer intervened and attacked the Israelis with pepper spray. The tourists were able to flee and required medical treatment. Law enforcement officials assume that the attack was the result of “anti-Semitic sentiment.” The bouncer and the man who attacked the Israelis, whose identity is still unknown, are being investigated for aggravated assault and battery.

The Jewish community in Worms, located in the southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate, was also the target of a recent attack. In mid-May, unknown assailants tried to set the city’s historic synagogue on fire. Forensics experts later identified eight sources of fire at the crime scene. In addition, a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of the synagogue’s library.

Understanding the Background

The community was lucky; the building did not go up in flames. Nearby, the police found letters claiming responsibility, written in broken German: “As long as you don’t leave the Palestinians alone, we won’t leave you alone.” It is still unclear whether the pamphlets indicate that the perpetrators were Islamists or were left there as a red herring. According to the state’s Interior Ministry, the authorities are “working hard to investigate all possible leads.”

Meanwhile residents and social workers are trying to understand the background and motives of the adolescents who attacked Jewish dancers with stones at the “International Day” event in Hanover’s Sahlkamp neighborhood.

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There is no visible evidence of Jewish life in the district, which has about 14,000 residents. According to the police, the stone-throwing incident on June 19 was the first case of anti-Semitic violence in the area. So far, authorities have identified 12 possible suspects. They are between 9 and 19 years old, many are not yet old enough to be prosecuted, and 11 of them have an “Arab immigrant background,” according to the public prosecutor’s office in the city. No one has said anything yet on the possible motives for the attack. The only comments, so far, came from a little girl, perhaps 10 or 11 years old, who was addressed immediately after the attack by a woman attending the neighborhood festival.

“What’s going on here?” the woman asked.

“The Germans say: Foreigners out!” the girl replied. “Why can’t we say: Jews out?” Then she ran away.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

Posted in Dhimmitude, Migranten/Migrants | Leave a Comment »

The Wrong Way to Fight Jihad

Posted by paulipoldie on July 14, 2010

The Wrong Way to Fight Jihad

Posted By Jamie Glazov On March 26, 2010

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Vijay Kumar, who is currently running for the U.S. Congress as a Republican candidate for Tennessee 5th Congressional District. The Primary vote comes on August 5 of this year, and the General Election is on November 4. When he ran before, in 2008, he received about 30% of the vote in Republican Primary. His website is kumarforcongress.com [1]. Visit his blog at kumarforcongress.net [2].

FP: Vijay Kumar, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

You are one of the rare individuals running for office in America who is actually making the issue of Islamic Jihad a significant part of your campaign. Tell us your view of Islamic Jihad and the background you have to make you see it the way you do.

Kumar: I am a native of Hyderabad, India, which is where I first encountered the Muslim culture. We have a substantial number of Muslims there, a higher percentage than most other parts of India, and I began to observe things that troubled me. Later, I traveled a number of Islamic nations, and I lived in Iran from 1976 to 1979, during the Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini. I immigrated to the United States in 1979. All my life, I have been interested in political thought. During my travels, I came to realize that Islam is unlike any of the other world religions for a variety of reasons, and they summate to the Islamic ideology behind Jihad.

First, Islam was conceived as a world empire to govern all mankind. It teaches that all the world, and everyone and everything in it, already belongs to Islam–some people just haven’t been made to understand that. Until they have, according to Islam, they are considered “infidels” and inferiors. Put another way, the Islamic view is that all of us in the world are subjects of the Islamic Empire, and those of us who do not acknowledge our subjugation to it must be overcome and brought to submission, through conversion or force. No other religion in the world has such a purpose of world conquest and domination.

Second, Islam does not allow any introspection or self-criticism. It calls for total acceptance, total submission. The very word “Islam” means “submission,” and the word “Muslim” means “one who submits.” The other side of submission, of course, is domination. Islam seeks to dominate every individual and every nation into submission. In that, it shares a key element of slavery, which the civilized world has properly decried and abolished. Such submission is a political act. I am a freeman, and I refuse to submit to Islamic hegemony.

Third, Islam does not have any exit policy for its believers. The act of submission required to become a Muslim is held to be final, irrevocable, and permanent. So criticizing or questioning Islam or its teachings or leaders, or attempting to leave Islam, all are considered severe crimes against Islam, punishable by death.

In contrast, non-Islamic religions allow for dissenting views, introspection, and reasoned debate. In non-Islamic religions, if you so choose, you can leave the faith you were born into without being threatened with physical violence or death. In Islam, both criticism of the faith and apostasy are capital offenses.

All of that is what drives Jihad: Jihad is a permanent war against the unbeliever and his land to bring about his submission. It has been going on for fourteen centuries all over the world, which is why I coined the term “Universal Jihad.” Islam’s Universal Jihad is the single greatest threat to Western civilization and to the entire non-Islamic world in general. It is more dangerous than Nazism and Communism combined.

FP: More dangerous than Nazism and Communism combined? Please explain this perspective.

Kumar: Nazism was in power for 15 years or so. Communism was in power for about 70 years. Today, Germany, Japan, and Russia, our former adversaries, are now our allies. Also, they are liberal democracies.

Nazism, Communism, and Islam are all three totalitarian ideologies. Communism and Nazism, though, lack a system of transcendental metaphysics, which Islam has. Nazism and Communism do not claim to be religions, and there is no threat of hell-fire to hold over its adherents. By contrast, Islam is a totalitarian form of governance that also claims to be a religion, and so has proved to be far more sustainable than any other form of aggressive totalitarianism.

The doctrine and politics of Universal Jihad have been assaulting the world for 1,400 years. It is exactly what launched the Christian Crusades, which were an attempt to save European civilization from the relentless onslaught and wholesale murder of invading Muslim forces.

Under Universal Jihad, non-Muslim civilizations have been annihilated. To mention just a few examples: Turkey was Christian; Iran was Zoroastrian; North Africa and the Middle East were predominantly Christian; Afghanistan and Central Asia were Buddhist; Pakistan was Hindu; Egypt was Coptic, orthodox Christian. All have fallen prey to invasion by Islam.

Today, Universal Jihad has been brought to the West–not just by overt violence, but through every strategy and tactic conceivable. Islam is not just the faith of another immigrant group; it is a complete political and paramilitary ideology. Political Islam is here to Islamize the Western nations, and that includes the United States.

So Universal Jihad is a permanent form of warfare against the infidels, their nation-states, and every non-Islamic form of government in the world. It has been Islam’s mandate for 1,400 years that other cultures must submit to it. Islam is devoted to an eternally-unchanging doctrine: it is obligated to conquer entire world.

No one needs to take my word for it. Syed Abul A’ala Maududi, a Pakistani, was arguably the most influential Muslim theologian and thinker of the 20th Century. He said the following point-blank:

“Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the  earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a State on the basis of its own ideology and program . . . [T]he objective of Islamic Jihad is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of State rule. Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single State or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution.”

Any Muslim or apologist who claims otherwise, or who insists that Islam is just “a religion of peace” is not arguing against me: they are arguing against their own most revered leaders and experts on Islam and its true purpose. They are spreading Islamic propaganda that has no other purpose than to lull the infidel into a false sense of  friendship and security.

Such propaganda is a primary and vitally important tool of Islam’s psychological warfare. Syed Abul A’ala Maududi also spelled out clearly how many different ways Universal Jihad is to be waged against ”the infidels”:

“In the jihad in the way of Allah, active combat is not always the role on the battlefield, nor can everyone fight in the front line. Just for one single battle preparations have often to be made for decades on end and the plans deeply laid, and while only some thousands fight in the front line there are behind them millions engaged in various tasks which, though small themselves, contribute directly to the supreme effort.”

Unlike any other religion anywhere in the world, Islam’s clear, inarguable overarching purpose is Universal Jihad and global conquest, using any means. It is not waged just through terrorism and violent conflict. That is an extraordinarily naive view. Islam also uses psychological warfare, propaganda, covert operations, infiltration, and demographic saturation.

Universal Jihad exists and no amount liberal “political correctness” is going to wish it away. It is here on the soil of the United States right this minute. Its openly-declared goal is to destroy the United States as a system of government, to tear up our Constitution, and subject us all to Islamic totalitarianism under Sharia law.

FP: Let me ask you this: World War I was won in four years, World War II was won in six years. But the Israel/Palestine and the India/Pakistan conflicts have not resolved after 62 years. Why do you think?

Kumar: It’s simple: Muslims do not want peace, they want conquest. When they enter into an alleged “peace accord,” it is only a ploy to buy time to build their position for ultimate conquest. This is by their own creed: in Islam’s system of “ethics,” it is perfectly acceptable to lie to mere infidels.

In the case of Israel, the West has never been 100% behind Israeli sovereignty. Both the West and Israel have always only wanted to buy truce with the Islamic nations–never peace. It is an endless case of appeasement that puts Neville Chamberlain to shame.

As I have said before, and as history proves conclusively and invariably, Islam does not recognize pluralism, and Islam never wants a lasting peace with any non-Islamic people or states. When Muslims are in a relatively weak position they may offer truce–a temporary agreement–but never lasting peace. Even a cursory study of the treaties made by Muhammad proves at once that every Islamic treaty is merely another tactic toward ultimate conquest and domination. He set the standard for using treaties as a path to conquest.

Since then, Islam has been waging a relentless war for the past 1,400 years against every non-Muslim within their reach. In the last century, technological advances have extended the reach of the Muslim world considerably. Anybody who believes that it’s suddenly going to change–for any reason, through any amount of “diplomacy”–is either grossly uninformed or delusional.

Islamic imperialists have no desire at all for peaceful coexistence with Israel. They want to annihilate the “Zionist Entity.” By the way, during the last 60 years, Israel has absorbed more than a million Sephardic Jews from Arab countries. The Arab nations, on the other hand, refuse to absorb two million Palestinians. It’s a sad irony that two million Palestinians are considered so important while at the same time the suffering inflicted upon 50 million Kurdish people by Muslim nations goes almost unnoticed, unremarked.

Muslims do not recognize the right to existence of either Israel or India. They simply consider them roadblocks to world conquest that need to be removed, no matter what it takes, no matter how long it takes. Universal Jihad is infinite, endless war against the infidel. It has been formally, blatantly declared. To the Muslim, Jewish Israel and Hindu India are nothing more than inferior infidel nation-states that must be torn down and brought under Islamic control.

Remember this: Kashmir was a Hindu land continuously for 5,000 years. That’s over twice as long as the time that has passed since the birth of Christ. Islam went there as an imperial force, subjugated the local people, and conquered them, both politically and demographically, after 5,000 years of Hindu peace and civilization. Hence, today the Kashmiri Hindus are refugees in their own land. They have been reduced to a minority.

It is not Kashmir alone. Now Muslims of India wants Mughalstan, the Land of Mugal empire. They want to build an Islamic state from Pakistan to Bangladesh that includes the entirety of north India.

Every year, we are paying Islamic tribute to Pakistan, Egypt, and Palestinians in hopes of maintaining a tenuous truce. We are not really giving them “aid.” It is nothing but Islamic tribute to keep them at bay.

It’s really too simple for anyone to try to complicate it: Islam wants the entire world to submit. India and Israel are simply two obstacles or roadblocks to that goal. If they can get Israel and India to disappear from the face of earth, Islamic Umma–community, or “nation” in the larger sense–would be one unified imperialism from Morocco to Indonesia. Then it would be Europe’s turn to be annihilated.

FP: How do we best win the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in your opinion?

Kumar: It can’t be overstated or said too many times that these are merely the current fronts of open conflict in Universal Jihad. In fact, it plays into the purposes of Universal Jihadists for the Western world to be fixated on isolated actions in various geographical locations, and thereby never see the bigger picture.

Universal Jihad is an ideology, a doctrine, that is fixed and unchanging. Waging battles of force and military action alone– especially on Islam’s home turf–and continuing to send troops out as reaction to the latest flare-ups or hot-spots in Islam’s endless war will never succeed. Never.

That’s also why the idea of a “War on Terror” is absurd. Terrorism is nothing more than one of the many technique and tactics used to advance Islam’s political ideology. On this subject of terrorism, groups like the Taliban are a bunch of obedient foot soldiers. They are what Karl Marx called the “lumpen-proletariat.” Allow me to direct your attention to the fact that we never see Islamic Imams–religious leaders–blowing themselves up. If martyrdom is such a high holy act, as Islam’s leaders preach, why aren’t they the ones strapping on the explosives? It’s a curious case of “do as I say, not as I do.”

Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan form the Axis of Universal Jihad. Unless and until we address the leaders of this Axis of Jihad, and the militaristic ideology of world domination that is their chief export, there is no possibility for peace in the future for humanity.

The real power behind Universal Jihad, in all of its manifestations, lies with the Pakistani ISI–the intelligence services of Pakistan–along with the Pakistani military, the Pakistani feudal elite, and the Islamic theological leaders. As a nation-state, Pakistan exists for two reasons: its pathological hatred of India and Hindus, and its parasitic dependence on American aid. Their leaders’ battle cry is always “Islam in danger” when they want to stoke the fires of Jihad, and of course Muslims are commanded by the Quran to go forth immediately when called to fight by their Islamic leaders.

Make no mistake: you can only solve the problem of Afghanistan when you address the problem of Pakistan, because Afghanistan is a client state of Pakistan. And you can only solve the problem of Pakistan when you address the problem of Saudi Arabia, because Pakistan is a client state of Saudi Arabia.

The Pakistanis are being sponsored by the hedonistic rulers of Saudi Arabia. Saudi rulers are materialistic hedonists in their practice, but preach Wahabi Islamic fundamentalist doctrine to the world.

The bottom-line is this: The hedonist Saudi ruling elite form the epicenter for global terrorism, because it is they who fund all mosques and madrasas around the world–and that includes the United States.

They export oil and worldwide Islamic fundamentalist revolution.

That fundamentalist revolution is Universal Jihad, and its entire force comes solely from its ideology, an ideology that was born right in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the only real war, and the war that is winnable, is against the ideology that is the doctrine of Universal Jihad.

All three of these nations that make up the Axis of Jihad are ready for internal revolutions. We, the West, are not taking advantage of that situation.

In Iran, for example, a majority of the Iranian population is under 25 years old. They were born after the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979. All of those young men and women are ready to be liberated from the totalitarianism that prevails at the hands of the Ayatollahs. We must appeal to their reason and their own human desire for freedom, liberty, and the right to free will.

Similarly, the Saudi regime is ready to collapse because of its own corrupt system. It is beginning to come under assault from Islamic fundamentalists for its hedonistic life style. Instead of kowtowing to the Saudis, we should be shining a bright light on the rampant hypocrisy.

FP: What do we do then to confront Jihad effectively?

Kumar: To reach a lasting solution to Universal Jihad, and to all the violence and terror and misery it causes throughout the world, the goal of the Western world should be to demilitarize, secularize, and democratize the Axis of Jihad. Anything short of that goal is like putting a band-aid on leprosy. For starters, we should do the following things:

1. Stop all immigration from the Axis of Jihad nations.

2. Stop paying Islamic tribute–so-called “aid”–to Pakistan, Egypt and the Palestinians.

3. Support those moderate, secular, Muslims–there are many—against theological fundamentalists.

4. Build a United Front of Victims of Jihad. That is where Jew and Gentile, Saxon and Slav, Hindu and Buddhist, Norwegian and Nigerian, Catholic and Protestant, Evangelical and Orthodox, have common ground. All can unite to contain the extremist ideology, because all historically have been victims of Universal Jihad.

The United States and Israel have many allies and friends in this cause. All we have to do is look around.

Together, there are many ways we can fight the ideological war and win it with reason, and with appeal to the human quest for freedom. That is our strongest ally.

The first ideological hurdle to overcome is a clear recognition by our own leaders that the only real enemy is Universal Jihad and the three seats of its power: Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. It is an existential crisis for all non-Muslim nations, and for all freedom-loving people everywhere in the world. This transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries. Islamic imperialism draws no distinctions between “infidels.” Until we win this war, we are all targets for takeover.

FP: You mention immigration. Expand on your thoughts on demographics when it comes to Islam.

Kumar: Demographic conquest is the most permanent form of Islamic conquest. Before the expansionism of Islam, by force and infusion, Egypt, North Africa, and the southern coast of the Mediterranean were Christian. There was a Buddhist monastery in Alexandria, Egypt. Turkey was Buddhist and Christian. Persia–now Iran–was Zoroastrian. The Hindu culture covered an area of the world twice as large as it is now.

The fatal flaw of every one of these nations that has fallen before Islamic invasion has been to open its arms to Islam, only to be stabbed in the back.

Islam primarily is a political and military doctrine, dedicated to world conquest, that wears the cloak of religion. The religious cloak is the Trojan Horse it uses to infiltrate the cultures and nations and civilizations it seeks to destroy and replace with Islamic totalitarianism.

Liberals and progressives in those target nation-states become the water-carriers for Islam’s demographic tactics, demanding that immigrant Muslims be granted all the “rights” they need to kill off the host country and take over. The irony is that the liberals who tout the Islamic cause are the first victims when Sharia takes its grip around the throat of a nation. But this appeal to liberals for sympathy and support is a key part of Islam’s ideological war.

Unrestrained legal and illegal immigration is tearing apart the very fabric of Europe and the United States and Canada. To survive, the West must ban immigration from all Muslim nations where Sharia is the law of the land. The only exceptions should be apostates and refugees from Islam. We must pass laws to denaturalize and deport all those advocates of Sharia from the West. Europe is already becoming Eurabia, and in Europe multiculturalism means submitting to Islamic supremacy.

FP: Your perspective on Islam’s dualistic ethics?

Kumar: The Quran, the Islamic holy book, has two sets of ethics. One set of ethics is for believers, the other set of ethics for the Kaffirs–their name for infidels, non-Muslims. The Quran has no good news for the infidel.

In Islam ethics are based upon a simple formula: “good” is whatever advances the cause of Islam, and “evil” is whatever resists the cause of Islam.

In Islam, all Muslims are brothers who should be kind and honest to each other. But Allah hates the infidel; Allah plots against the infidel, so Muslims should, too. Over 60% of the Quran is devoted to the Kaffir, and every mention is negative, demeaning, insulting, or hateful. It teaches war in the name of peace, hate in the name of love.

“Ethics” in Islam is an ideology of double standards, internally warring dichotomies, and endless contradictions. Even its own Imams war among themselves on what is correct “interpretation.” That is why it can be fought with reason and overcome.

FP: Let’s finish up by talking some more about what can be done. Expand on the best way that free peoples who want to remain free can defend themselves against Sharia and Islamic Jihad. What is the wrong way to do it? What are the consequences?

Kumar: The wrong way to do it is for the liberal media and politicians to keep inhaling the opiate of Islamic propaganda about “peace, peace, peace, peace be upon you,” and blowing that toxic smoke all over the world. If we don’t shake them out of their narcoleptic slumber, their own children, or their children’s children–and ours as well–are going to be bowing in submission before the tyranny of Islamic domination and Sharia law on our own soil.

Here’s how the liberals and progressives can help: they should start an organization like the Peace Corps, called Free Americans for Islamic Rehabilitation–F.A.I.R.–that sends volunteers to all Islamic nations to demand tolerance and equal rights in those nations for all other religions, for women, for minorities, and for homosexuals. Now there would be true liberalism in action. We’ll see how far they get putting their money where their mouth is in an Islamic nation.

Meanwhile, those of us who are already awake have got to energetically build a coalition of free nations and people around the globe, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, politics, or religion, and begin an information campaign that is more relentless and eternal than Universal Jihad. That sums up why I am running for Congress. I want to help build that coalition and help raise people’s awareness.

Our leaders have to come to grips with the fact that the seats of power of Universal Jihad are Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. These are the command centers. They are openly declared enemies of every principle our nation was founded upon. We must treat them as such, or Universal Jihad will continue unabated around the world, flaring up endlessly as we pour more money and innocent blood down the drain.

We can win this war, and we can win it decisively, but we have got to recognize and name the true enemies of mankind and freedom, and take effective action in combating the ideology that drives them. Right now, our own State Department and government agencies are spending enormous amounts of dollars and energy defending the very ideology that wants to wipe them and our whole form of government from the face of the earth!

This is why I say repeatedly, as a central part of my campaign, and why I fully believe that war against Universal Jihadists can be won globally in less than five years, that it can be won for less than one billion dollars, and that can be won without any more loss of American or Western lives.

There are two great forces at work in this war. One is the totalitarian ideology of Islamic theocracy, which permits of no separation of church and state, no true freedom of thought, freedom of speech, or equal rights under the law. The other is our own  Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, which proclaim and guarantee human freedom, sovereignty, dignity, and basic inalienable human rights.

These two ideologies are diametrically and irrevocably and irreconcilably opposed. It is a war of ideas. It is a war of philosophies. They are mutually exclusive. One of them is going to win over the other.

Which will it be?

FP: Vijay Kumar, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

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