On Islamic Violence: Forget the Koran, Look to History

PJ Media

The debate around Muslim violence all too often centers around doctrine—around what the Koran and Hadith (words and deeds of Muhammad) really mean and say. Forgotten in this debate is that Islamic scriptures are unnecessary in determining whether Islam teaches violence and war against non-Muslims.

History suffices.

Consider some facts, attested to by both Muslim and non-Muslim primary historic sources: A mere decade after the birth of Islam in the 7th century, the jihad burst out of Arabia.  In just a few decades, Muslims had permanently conquered what was then two-thirds of the Christian world.  The heart of the Muslim world today—nations like Egypt, Syria, all of North Africa, Turkey and more—were, in the 7th century, the heart of Christendom.

Thereafter it was a continuous war on Christian Europe.  Among other nations and territories that were attacked and/or came under Muslim domination throughout the centuries are (to give them their modern names and in no particular order): Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Belarus, Malta, Sardinia, Moldova, Slovakia, and Montenegro.

Less than three decades after the traditional date of Islam’s founding (622), three of the five original Christian centers (“sees”) founded by the apostles—in Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem—were forever swallowed up by Islam; the fourth, Constantinople, valiantly resisted the Islamic onslaught for centuries, but was finally conquered in the name of Islam in 1453.  Though sacked and burned by Muslims as early as 846, only distant Rome—the Vatican, fifth of the ancient Christian sees—remained unconquered.

The few European regions that escaped direct Islamic occupation due to their northwest remoteness include Great Britain, Scandinavia, and Germany.  That, of course, does not mean that they were not attacked by Islam. Indeed, in the furthest northwest of Europe, in Iceland, Christians used to pray that God save them from the “terror of the Turk.” This was not mere paranoia; as late as 1627, Muslim corsairs raided the northern Christian island seizing four hundred captives and selling them in the slave markets of Algiers.

Nor did America escape.  A few years after the formation of the United States, in 1800, American trading ships in the Mediterranean were plundered and their sailors enslaved by Muslim corsairs.  The ambassador of Tripoli explained to Thomas Jefferson that it was a Muslim’s right and duty to make war upon non-Muslims wherever they could be found, and to enslave as many as they could take as prisoners.

There was no mystery about Islam in those days.   As early as the 8th century, Byzantine chronicler Theophanes wrote in his Chronographia:

He [Muhammad] taught those who gave ear to him that the one slaying the enemy — or being slain by the enemy — entered into paradise [e.g., Koran 9:111]. And he said paradise was carnal and sensual — orgies of eating, drinking, and women. Also, there was a river of wine … and the woman were of another sort, and the duration of sex greatly prolonged and its pleasure long-enduring [e.g., 56: 7-40, 78:31, 55:70-77]. And all sorts of other nonsense.

Six hundred years later, in the 14th century, Byzantine emperor Paleologus II told a Muslim scholar: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman — such as the command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Such was the honesty of interfaith dialoguing in former times.

It deserves repeating, by the standards of historiography, the aforementioned historical outline is unassailable, and attested to by both Muslim and European sources, from the traditional beginning of Islam till the modern era.

In short, regardless of what the Koran and other Islamic scriptures really “mean,” for roughly one millennium—punctuated by a Crusader-rebuttal that the modern West is obsessed with demonizing—Muslims waged unrelenting war on the West. And they did and continue doing so in the name of Islam.

——

And therein lies the rub: Today, whether as taught in high school or graduate school, whether as portrayed by Hollywood or the news media, the predominant historic narrative is that Muslims are the historic “victims” of “intolerant” Western Christians.  (Watch my response to a Fox News host wondering why Christians have always persecuted Muslims.)

So here we are, paying the price of being an ahistorical society: A few years after the Islamic strikes of 9/11—merely the latest in the centuries-long, continents-wide jihad on the West—Americans elected (twice) a man with a Muslim name and heritage for president; a man who openly empowers the same Islamic ideology that Western warriors fought for centuries.

Surely the United States’ European forebears—who at one time or another either fought off or were conquered by Islam—must be turning in their graves.

But all this is history, you say? Why rehash it?  Why not let it be and move on, begin a new chapter of mutual tolerance and respect, even if history must be “touched up” a bit?

This would be a somewhat plausible position if not for the fact that, all around the globe, Muslims are still exhibiting the same imperial impulse and intolerant supremacism that their conquering forbears did.  The only difference is that the Muslim world is currently incapable of defeating the West through a conventional war.

Yet this may not even be necessary.  Thanks to the West’s ignorance of history, Muslims are allowed to flood Europe, so that hardly a day now passes without headlines of Muslim on non-Muslim violence.   Most recently—or at least as of this writing—Muslims invaded a church in France, forced the priest on his knees, and slit his throat.

All this leads to another, equally important point: If the true history of the West and Islam is being turned upside down, what other historical “truths” being peddled around today are equally false?  The narrative concerning Islam’s alleged peacefulness is only being questioned because the world sees Muslims committing violence on a daily basis.  But surely there are other nefarious and seditious forces that are intelligent enough not to expose themselves?

In the future (whatever one there may be) the histories written about our times will likely stress how our era, ironically called the “information age,” was not an age when people were so well informed, but rather an age when disinformation was so widespread and unquestioned that generations of people lived in bubbles of alternate realities—till they were finally popped.

Bron: http://www.raymondibrahim.com

 

Leading Muslim Cleric Says Persecuted Coptic Christians Are “Criminal, Aggressive, and Oppressive”

Coptic Solidarity

Dr. Yassir al-Burhami, Egypt’s premiere Salafi, was once again videotaped inciting hate for and violence against the nation’s Christians, the Copts—including by decrying the notion of giving them their full human and civil rights:  “When you cooperate with a criminal, aggressive, oppressive, infidel minority, you attack the rights of the majority [Muslims].”

He went on to concede (sarcastically) that the Copts were “brothers”—but only in the context of the nation, not in the much more important context of religion, or “reality”:

We call them “our Christian brothers, the infidels.”  And I use the word “brother” in its common usage: we say, yes, they are our brothers in the nation—but they are infidels who are on their way to hell … and we advise them to break away from the authority of the taghut [meaning “idolatrous,” “tyrannical” or “oppressive”] Church.

Discussing this video, Egyptian talk show host Yusif al-Hussayni made several important points, including that “among these Islamic groups, use of the word taghut is synonymous with ‘go and kill!’  That’s how Anwar Sadat was killed—he was first described as a taghut.  So when Burhami describes the leaders of the church as taghut, this is the same as if he were to incite against and kill them.”

He added that for Burhami to call Christians “brothers” and “infidels” in the same breath is as contradictory as if he, Hussayni, were to say “Dear sir, scholar, sheikh, doctor Burhami—you son of a b***.”  He also decried the fact that while secular Egyptian and Coptic Christians are regularly accused of “defaming religions,” and prosecuted accordingly,

Al Azhar doesn’t accuse Burhami of inciting hatred and violence against minorities.  Indeed, there isn’t a single pious Muslim who is zealous over his religion, who does not permit his religion to be equated with hatred, violence, and incitement against other religions, who bothered to file a case against Yassir Burhami.  Not one!

Indeed, while riots and violence regularly erupt whenever a Christian is merely accused of liking a Facebook page critical of Islam, followed by the arrest and prosecution of the accused, no Muslim seems to care when Christians are mocked or attacked in the name of Isam, even though Egypt’s “defamation of religions” law is supposed to protect Christianity and Christians as well in Egypt.

Hussayni pointed out that by allowing people such as Burhami to continue to preach and disseminate their message, the Egyptian government, by default, supports this message of hate and violence against Christians.

As others have indicated, it’s not enough for Egyptian president Sisi merely to speak out against radicalism, or do PR visits to Coptic churches.  So long as people like Burhami are permitted to disseminate such hate-filled messages, so long will Christians suffer.

Bron: http://www.raymondibrahim.com

 

Massachusetts Islamism

by Samuel Westrop
April 4, 2016 at 4:30 am


  • The response of “non-violent” Islamists to counter-extremism programs displays a master class in deception. The greatest mistake made by the Obama administration is to treat groups such as CAIR and the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) as genuine representatives of the Muslim community.
  • Very few American Muslims believe that CAIR is a legitimate voice of American Islam. A 2011 Gallup poll revealed that around 88% of American Muslims said CAIR does not represent them.
  • It is little wonder that groups such as CAIR disparage genuine moderates. They perceive moderates as a threat to their self-styled reputations as representatives of American Islam. Many in them have learned to speak the language of liberalism and democracy in their pursuit of an ultimately illiberal and anti-democratic ideal.
  • Counter-extremism work is best achieved by marginalizing such groups — by freeing American Muslims from their self-appointed Islamist spokesmen, and by working instead with the genuine moderates.

 

A number of Massachusetts Muslim groups, led by Cambridge city councilor Nadeem Mazen, are currently spearheading a campaign against the Obama administration’s program, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), which has designated Boston as one of its pilot cities.

From the government’s perspective, Boston was an obvious choice. The city has a long, unfortunate history of producing internationally-recognized terrorists, including the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston marathon; Aafia Siddiqui, whom FBI Director Robert S. Mueller describes as “an al-Qaeda operative and facilitator;” Abdulrahman Alamoudi, the founder of the Islamic Society of Boston, and named by the federal government as an Al Qaeda fundraiser, and Ahmad Abousamra, a key official within Islamic State, whose father is vice-president of the Muslim American Society’s Boston branch.

During the past decade, in fact, twelve congregants, supporters, officials and donors of the Islamic Society of Boston alone have been imprisoned, deported, killed or are on the run in connection with terrorism offenses.

Despite these alumnae, a number of extremist Islamic organizations, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), have claimed that the government’s attempt to combat radicalization “targets American Muslims” and “undermines our national ideals.”

Cambridge city councilor Nadeem Mazen, who is also a director of CAIR’s Massachusetts branch, has spoken at a number of anti-CVE rallies, condemning the government’s approach as “authoritarian” because it included “violent practices like surveillance and racial profiling.”

In response, Robert Trestan, the Massachusetts director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL),points out that the CVE program “is relatively new in this country. It’s not fair to judge it yet and be overly critical.” He added: “Nothing I’ve seen or participated in has gone anywhere near proposing or suggesting anything close to surveillance, crossing the line of people’s civil rights or profiling.”

What, then, is the basis for this opposition?

Critics of Nadeem Mazen look with concern at his opposition to policing that protects Americans from terrorist attacks. In May, Mazen voted against the Cambridge Police Department budget. He argued that the funding for SWAT teams and the police’s participation in CVE programs only served to “alienate the Muslim community.” The Cambridge SWAT team, however, played a crucial part in the arrest of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just hours after he and his brother murdered three spectators and injured hundreds at the Boston marathon.

Mazen has also taken part in protests against Boston police departments. Addressing a crowd of activists from a group named Restore the Fourth, Mazen claimed that police counter-terrorism units are part of a larger conspiracy to suppress free speech: “They are working very hard…in the background….but really, there’s never any need. … Some of the research is looking at free speech activists…like me. … It is that type of government operation, it’s that that is the best and the most evident hallmark of tyranny.”

Are Mazen and CAIR, then, simply free speech campaigners?

CAIR does not exactly have a reputation for liberal activism. It was founded in 1994 by three officials of the Islamic Association of Palestine, which, the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial would later determine, was a front for the terrorist group, Hamas. During the same trial, the prosecutors designated CAIR as an “unindicted co-conspirator.” U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis concluded that, “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR… with the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas.”

One of CAIR’s original Islamic Association of Palestine founders, Nihad Awad, is today CAIR’s Executive Director. Awad peddles conspiracy theories that the U.S Congress is controlled by Israel, and has stated that U.S. foreign policy was propelled by Clinton administration officials of a particular “ethnic background.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notes that CAIR has long expressed anti-Semitic and pro-terror rhetoric. The ADL adds that, “[CAIR’s] public statements cast Jews and Israelis as corrupt agents who control both foreign and domestic U.S. policy and are responsible for the persecution of Muslims in the U.S.”

In November 2015, CAIR, which in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial was determined to be a front for the terrorist group Hamas, organized a “lobbying day” at the Massachusetts State House.

Not all of Massachusetts’s Muslim groups have opposed involvement in the CVE program. In February, the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), which is partly run by the Muslim American Society, took part in the White House’s summit on Countering Violent Extremism.

The ISB’s Director, Yusufi Vali, however, would later criticize the CVE program on the grounds that by focusing on radicalization rather than violence, the authorities were unfairly targeting Muslim-Americans simply because of their faith.

Instead, Vali has urged, the government should deputize responsibility for combatting extremism to groups such as his. Boston is a pilot city for the CVE program, he claimed, because of the “strong relationship” between law enforcement and institutions such as the ISB. Only the ISB’s version of Islam, Vali proposed, can “appeal to young people” and “win in the marketplace of ideas.”

But the ideology underpinning the Islamic Society of Boston itself is cause for some concern. In 2008, the Muslim American Society (MAS), which runs the ISB’s Cultural Center, of which Vali is also a board member, was labelled by federal prosecutors “as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”

Religious leaders of the Muslim American Society have included Hafiz Masood, the brother of Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who masterminded the 2008 Mumbai Massacre in which 164 people were murdered. While he was living in the Boston area, according to a Times of Indiareport, Masood was raising money and trying to recruit people for his brother’s terrorist group. After being deported by the government for filing a fraudulent visa application, Masood has since become a spokesperson for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a branch of his brother’s terrorist group, Lashkar-i-Taiba.[1]

The ISB itself was founded by the Al Qaeda operative Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was jailed in 2004 for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. The ISB’s other trustees have included prominent Islamist operatives, including Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood.

In October, an event hosted by the ISB featured a number of extremist preachers. One of them, Hussain Kamani has cited Quranic verse and commentary to warn Muslims, “do not resemble the Jews” and has advised parents to “beat” their children “if they do not [pray].” In a talk titled ‘Sex, Masturbation and Islam,’ Kamani explains that a Muslim man must only fulfil his sexual desires “with his spouse…[or] with a female slave that belongs to him.” Those who commit adultery or have sex outside of marriage, Kamani further declares, must be “stoned to death.”

If one looks to European experiences with counter-extremism programs, some of which have been in place for over a decade, Yusufi Vali and the ISB have good reasons to lobby against a focus on radicalization. In Britain, under Prime Minister David Cameron, the government has come to the realization that some of the Islamic groups entrusted with counter-extremism initiatives are, in fact, part of the problem.

In a speech delivered in Munich in 2011, Cameron stated:

“As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by what some have called ‘non-violent extremists’, and they then took those radical beliefs to the next level by embracing violence. … Some organisations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism. As others have observed, this is like turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement.”

Groups similar to the ISB and CAIR, the Conservative government reasons, represent the “non-violent extremists.” These are likely the first stop on the “conveyor belt” path to radicalization: a young is Muslim exposed to anti-Semitism, excuses for terrorism and claims of victimhood and gradually becomes open to committing violent acts.

This insight was not without foundation. The previous Labour government, under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, partnered with British Muslim groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Britain’s most prominent Muslim group — similar in ideology to CAIR and the ISB — to counteract extremist ideas in the Muslim community. In 2008, however, the Labour government severed all relations with the Muslim Council of Britain after it emerged that the group’s deputy secretary general, Daud Abdullah, had signed a declaration supporting attacks against Jewish communities and the British armed forces.

By seeking the partnership of groups such as the ISB, the Obama administration risks making the same mistakes of Britain’s last Labour government. And, in time, the U.S. government will arrive at the same realization as the British government — that non-violent extremists do not offer an alternative to violent extremism; in fact, they make the problem worse.

But all this invites the question: why do some Islamist groups oppose CVE programs while others join in? Although the ISB backed out of the Boston CVE initiative, the Islamic Council of New England (ICNE) remains a key partner. As with CAIR and the ISB, the ICNE is part of the “soft Islamist” network — groups that emerged from Muslim Brotherhood ideology and which have learned to speak the language of liberalism and democracy in their pursuit of an ultimately illiberal and anti-democratic ideal.

In 2002, the ICNE hosted a conference with the Muslim Brotherhood academic, Tariq Ramadan, and the British Salafist, Abdur Raheem Green, a former jihadist who warns Muslims of a Jewish “stench,” encourages the death penalty as a “suitable and effective” punishment for homosexuality and adultery, and has ruled that wife-beating “is allowed.”

The ICNE has announced its continued involvement in CVE programs because “rather than obsessing about the insidious erosion of our ‘civil rights’, Muslims should focus on the more immediate risk of being blind-sided by the overwhelming tsunami of Islamophobia.”

While CAIR protests against CVE, the ICNE believes it can work with counter-extremism programs to its advantage. The ISB lies somewhere in the middle. And yet all these Islamist groups are key partners, mostly founded and managed by the same network of Islamist operatives.

Has the CVE program really caused such discord?

Again, the European experience offers some answers. Daud Abdullah, the former deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, had his group work closely with the British government’s counter-extremism program, before later hosting an event with his other group, Middle East Monitor, which denounced the scheme as a “Cold War on British Muslims.” Similarly, the Cordoba Foundation, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood think tank, procuredcounter-extremism grants in 2008 only to run events condemning counter-extremism programs in 2009.

Non-violent extremists learn both to exploit and criticize counter-extremism initiatives to their benefit. By working in tandem, some Islamist voices accept government funds that legitimize them as leaders of the Muslim community and portray them as responsible Muslims concerned with extremism; while other Islamist groups oppose counter-extremism efforts in an effort to style themselves as civil rights champions and gain the support of libertarians on both the Left and Right.

The response of “non-violent” Islamists to counter-extremism programs displays a master class in deception. The greatest mistake, if it is one, made by the Obama administration is to treat groups such as CAIR and ISB as genuine representatives of the Muslim community. Very few American Muslims, it seems, actually believe that CAIR is a legitimate voice of American Islam.According to a 2011 Gallup poll, around 88% of American Muslims said CAIR does not represent them.

As for the ISB, it operates under the aegis of the Muslim American Society, which claims to be a national group for American Muslims. A 2011 report produced by CAIR itself, however, demonstrates that a mere 3% of American mosques are affiliated with the Muslim American Society. 62% of mosques claimed that they were not affiliated with any organization.

It is little wonder that groups such as CAIR disparage genuine moderates. They perceive moderates as a threat to their self-styled reputations as representatives of American Islam. CAIR Massachusetts Director Nadeem Mazen has denounced counter-Islamist Muslim groups that “foist secular attitudes on Muslims” and promote ideas that “are being projected, imperialist-style on to our population.”

American Islam is diverse. No group can claim to represent either Massachusetts Muslims or American Muslims. Islamist bodies have imposed their leadership on American Muslims. As inherently political movements, they were best organized to style themselves as community leaders. When politicians in D.C ask to speak to the “Muslim community,” groups such as CAIR and the ISB step forward.

Counter-extremism work is best achieved, in fact, by the government marginalizing such groups — by freeing American Muslims from their self-appointed Islamist spokesmen, by working instead with the genuine moderates among American Muslims, and by recognizing the link between non-violent and violent extremism. European governments have finally understood this reality, but far too late. For the sake of moderate Muslims everywhere, let us hope American politicians are quicker on the uptake.

Samuel Westrop is Research Director for Americans for Peace and Tolerance.


[1] In 2001, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell designated Lashkar-e-Taiba a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Bron: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

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