As couples the world over celebrated Valentine’s Day last week, many no doubt recalled the great Muslim love stories: Romeo and Juliet and Fatima and Dalia and Naima; A Midsummer Night’s Stoning; the movies Veiled Woman and When Harry Beat Sally – so many.
Right-thinking people today would find such quips “Islamophobic” and distasteful; far more distasteful, however, is the grim reality they represent. When Valentine’s Day rolled around last week, Muslim leaders rose to oppose it with a fervor they have seldom mustered against the jihad terrorists who have supposedly twisted and hijacked their peaceful religion.
The Malaysian Islamic Development Department thundered that “social ceremonies such as this are a stepping-stone towards greater social ills such as fraud, mental disorder caused by alcohol, abortion and baby-dumping, and other negative ills that can invite disaster and moral decay among youths.” The Indonesian Ulema Council declared that “celebrating Valentine’s Day is against Islam.” Saudi Arabia’s feared Islamic religious police banned Valentine’s Day and hunted for people toting suspicious roses and candy boxes. A Saudi cleric who has said that “devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer” dubbed Valentine’s Day “immoral.”
In Uzbekistan, Muslim clerics preached against Valentine’s Day in their Friday sermons. In Kashmir, Mohammed Akram Wani, a student at Srinagar’s Institute of Arabic and Islamic studies, declared: “The event is anti-Islamic and Muslims are not allowed to celebrate the day because in Islam the day has no importance.” And at Pakistan’s Peshawar University, devout Muslim students decided to celebrate February 14 as Haya (Modesty) Day, which consisted of stoning students who were celebrating Valentine’s Day, firing on police who intervened, and setting several rooms of their hostel on fire.
This hostility to Valentine’s Day, some Muslims explain, is because celebrating it is bid’a – innovation, an unacceptable concept in a religion that Allah has “perfected” (cf. Qur’an 5:3), and because it has roots in Christianity and has become an excuse for drunkenness and promiscuity. But there is a deeper reason as well: Islam is hostile to romance. “Asking a Moslem about his women,” the heroic journalist Oriana Fallaci wrote back in 1964, “is like asking him about a secret vice.” The condition of those women, and the state of Islamic romance, has hardly improved since then.
A few of the principal ways in which Islam is a romance-killer:
Editor’s Note: This is Part IX of an ongoing series by Robert Spencer highlighting human rights hypocrisy and fraudulent peace activists. For Part I see “The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam,” for Part II see “The Hypocrisy of the Fatwa Against Terrorism,” for Part III see “The Hypocrisy of the Feminist Response to Islam’s Oppression of Women,” for Part IV see “The Hypocrisy of the Western Christian Response to Muslim Persecution of Christians,” for Part V “The Hypocrisy of the Leftist Response to Ariel Sharon’s Death,” for Part VI see “The Hypocrisy of Ibrahim Hooper and CAIR’s ‘Islamophobic List,’” for Part VII see “The Hypocrisy of the Huffington Post’s Praise of Muhammad,” and for Part VIII see last week’s “The Hypocrisy of the Left’s Commitment to ‘Peacemaking’”
The Washington Post last week published a Religion News Service commentary: “Blasphemy charges pervert Islam’s teachings,” by Qasim Rashid. At first glance this looks like RNS and the WaPo giving space to a thoughtful moderate Muslim speaking up sensibly for the freedom of conscience. Unfortunately, although not surprisingly, that is not exactly what this is. Instead of being devoted to genuine Islamic reform, Qasim Rashid’s work is largely devoted to whitewashing atrocities committed in the name of Islam and justified by Islamic texts and teachings.
Qasim Rashid has misrepresented the Islamic justifications for jihad violence and publicly objected to a piece calling upon peaceful Muslims to fight actively against jihad terrorists. He has misrepresented the Qur’an’s sanction of deception of unbelievers; misrepresented the presence of violent passages in the Qur’an; misrepresented the Qur’an’s sanction of beating disobedient women; misrepresented the nature of Sharia; and called for limitations on the freedom of speech and expression to outlaw behavior and speech some Muslims may find offensive.
Also, as I wrote last week, for Leftists like Qasim Rashid, “people deemed ‘right-wing’ are unworthy of respect, and unworthy even of basic courtesy.” It constantly amazes me how slavering with hatred and frenzied contempt are the self-appointed exponents of “tolerance” and “love for all, hatred for none” when they are confronted with those whom they regularly smear with charges of “hatred” and “bigotry.” For all his pious posturing as an observant Ahmadi Muslim, Rashid is not only chronically dishonest, but is also a spectacularly unpleasant, nasty, rude, arrogant human being.
In the Washington Post piece he lies about the basis that laws calling for the imprisonment and/or execution of blasphemers have within the Qur’an and Sunnah. Here is the difference between actual reform and hypocritical deception: a sincere reformer will confront and refute the arguments that support the doctrine he is trying to reform; a deceiver will ignore those arguments, not mention the scriptural passages or other teachings that support the doctrine in question, and pretend that the doctrine doesn’t exist at all.
That’s what Qasim Rashid does here. He assembles a case for why “blasphemy charges pervert Islam’s teachings” without ever mentioning the Islamic foundations for blasphemy laws, thereby leaving a massive gaping hole in his own case by leaving unanswered this question: if “blasphemy charges pervert Islam’s teachings,” why are there so many perverts? If the Qur’an and Muhammad taught the freedom of conscience so clearly, why do so many Muslims misunderstand what they say, including the Islamic governments of Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere?
Editor’s Note: This is Part VIII of an ongoing series by Robert Spencer highlighting human rights hypocrisy and fraudulent peace activists. For Part I see “The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam,” for Part II see “The Hypocrisy of the Fatwa Against Terrorism,” for Part III see “The Hypocrisy of the Feminist Response to Islam’s Oppression of Women,” for Part IV see “The Hypocrisy of the Western Christian Response to Muslim Persecution of Christians,” for Part V “The Hypocrisy of the Leftist Response to Ariel Sharon’s Death,” for Part VI see “The Hypocrisy of Ibrahim Hooper and CAIR’s ‘Islamophobic List,’” and for Part VII see last week’s “The Hypocrisy of the Huffington Post’s Praise of Muhammad.”
How clueless and compromised are this country’s moneyed Leftist elites? This clueless and compromised. Intersections International, a group that styles itself as dedicated to promoting “peacemaking” and “interfaith outreach,” is honoring the Leftist media’s darling of the moment, Reza Aslan, “for his work at the intersection of religion, scholarship, and global peacemaking.”
It is hard to overstate how spectacularly bad a choice Reza Aslan is as someone to be honored for “global peacemaking,” unless Intersections International is using the word “peacemaking” as a synonym for “surrender to the enemies of the United States,” particularly Iran — which, in light of the fact that Intersections International is a Leftist group, may well be the case. For Reza Aslan in no way represents peacemaking, either professionally or personally. He is, for starters, a board member of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which has been established in court as a lobbying group for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This is not hearsay or rumor; there is an abundance of evidence for it. Michael Rubin noted in February 2013 that “Jamal Abdi, NIAC’s policy director, now appears to push aside any pretense that NIAC is something other than Iran’s lobby. Speaking at the forthcoming ‘Expose AIPAC’ conference, Abdi is featured on the ‘Training: Constituent Lobbying for Iran’ panel. Oops.”
According to Charles C. Johnson in the Daily Caller: “Iranian state-run media have referred to the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) since at least 2006 as ‘Iran’s lobby’ in the U.S.” Iranian freedom activist Hassan Daioleslam “documented over a two-year period that NIAC is a front group lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime.” NIAC had to pay him nearly $200,000 in legal fees after they sued him for defamation over his accusation that they were a front group for the mullahs, and lost.
Yet Aslan remains on their board.
Reza Aslan is a busy man, living a life of hectic vacancy as he rushes from one adoring Leftist crowd to another, and it may be that in between media appearances to tout (and wildly overstate) his credentials, he just hasn’t had the time to find out what NIAC is all about. That’s unlikely, however, as his own words and actions are consistent with this affiliation. He tried to pass off Iran’s frenziedly antisemitic and genocidally-minded former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a liberal reformer, even calling on the U.S. government to negotiate with him, as well as with the jihad terror group Hamas.
Editor’s Note: This is Part VII of an ongoing series by Robert Spencer highlighting human rights hypocrisy and fraudulent peace activists. For Part I see “The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam,” for Part II see “The Hypocrisy of the Fatwa Against Terrorism,” for Part III see “The Hypocrisy of the Feminist Response to Islam’s Oppression of Women,” for Part IV see “The Hypocrisy of the Western Christian Response to Muslim Persecution of Christians,” for Part V “The Hypocrisy of the Leftist Response to Ariel Sharon’s Death,” and for Part VI see last week’s “The Hypocrisy of Ibrahim Hooper and CAIR’s ‘Islamophobic List’”
The Huffington Post has published yet another article extolling the virtues of the orthodox Christian view of Jesus Christ – no, of course I am not serious. The Huffington Post would never publish something as right wing and sectarian as that. No, what the HuffPo has published is another in a long string of articles in praise of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, who is a much more palatable figure to the American Left.
The latest, “What Studying Muhammad Taught Me About Islam,” published in the HuffPo last week, is as risible as Karen Armstrong’s likening Muhammad to Gandhi, and is as gracefully written as a seventh grader’s book report. But for the Huffington Post, accuracy and quality are of no import: if it downplays the grim reality of Islamic jihad terror, then it’s good enough for them.
The author of the piece is Craig Considine, who has previously likened Muhammad to George Washington and claimed that Christianity has a concept of jihad just like Islam’s. He pulls off these feats of legerdemain by employing a very simple method: ignoring what doesn’t fit his thesis, as he does here.
“In this short essay,” says Considine in his irredeemably clunky prose, “I want to share with you what I have learned about Muhammad and how his legacy informs my understanding of Islam. Muhammad’s beliefs on how to treat religious minorities make him a universal champion of human rights, particularly as it pertains to freedom of conscience, freedom of worship, and the right for minorities to have protection during times of strife.”
Editor’s Note: This is Part VI of an ongoing series by Robert Spencer highlighting human rights hypocrisy and fraudulent peace activists. For Part I see “The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam,” for Part II see “The Hypocrisy of the Fatwa Against Terrorism,” for Part III see “The Hypocrisy of the Feminist Response to Islam’s Oppression of Women,” for Part IV see “The Hypocrisy of the Western Christian Response to Muslim Persecution of Christians,” and for Part V see last week’s “The Hypocrisy of the Leftist Response to Ariel Sharon’s Death.”
Ibrahim “Honest Ibe” Hooper of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last week sent out a crafty and deceptive op-ed as a “service,” and of course our lazy, clueless and compromised mainstream media was happy to oblige him by publishing it. The op-ed, “Islamophobic ‘List’ Used to Justify Suspicion of Muslims,” seems to have been a response to Pamela Geller’s recent exhaustive summary at Breitbart of Islamic jihad and supremacist activity in America in 2013. In response, Hooper offered not honesty and reform, but disingenuousness and deception.
Hooper claimed that,
one of the bigoted themes often promoted by the growing cottage industry of Muslim-bashers is that the increasing level of Islamophobia online and in the public arena is merely a legitimate response to the violent actions of Muslims worldwide.
He thus reveals the dishonesty at the heart of the entire “Islamophobia” initiative: Islamic supremacists and leftists use the term to refer both to analyses of how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism (e.g., what my colleagues and I do) and also to attacks on innocent Muslims (which neither I nor my colleague nor any decent person favors).
The objective is to make Americans think that any criticism of Islamic texts that jihadis use to incite violence worldwide threatens and endangers Muslims at home who don’t approve of that violence in the first place. Then by saying that “Muslim-bashers” claim that “Islamophobia” is a “legitimate response to the violent actions of Muslims worldwide,” Hooper is implying that those who decry violence and terror committed by Muslims in the name of Islam approve of violence against innocent, peaceful Muslims, as if to say, they had it coming.
I don’t celebrate death of anyone. Sharon will meet his Creator and answer to massacres and destruction committed by him. He was a criminal.
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) January 11, 2014
Editor’s Note: This is Part V of an ongoing series by Robert Spencer highlighting human rights hypocrisy and fraudulent peace activists. For Part I, see “The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam,” for Part II, see “The Hypocrisy of the Fatwa Against Terrorism,” for Part III “The Hypocrisy of the Feminist Response to Islam’s Oppression of Women,” for Part IV see last week’s “The Hypocrisy of the Western Christian Response to Muslim Persecution of Christians.”
Leftists and Islamic supremacists took to Twitter on Saturday morning to take their last shots at Ariel Sharon.
New York-based Linda Sarsour tweeted piously: “I don’t celebrate death of anyone. Sharon will meet his Creator and answer to massacres and destruction committed by him. He was a criminal.” Sarsour is a rabidly antisemitic Islamic supremacist who has said that “nothing is creepier than Zionism” and has equated it with “racism.” She is also a frequent visitor to the Obama White House, and has claimed that the jihad underwear bomber was a CIA agent – part of what she claims is a U.S. war against Islam.
Sarsour is a practiced exploiter of the “hate” smear against foes of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, and has never apologized for using the Islamic honor murder of Shaima Alawadi to spread lies about the prevalence of hate crimes against Muslims in America. Although she decries “hate,” she is venomously hateful herself – as is clear in this self-righteous, self-pitying, foul-mouthed, hate-filled and utterly off-putting performance at a “comedy show,” which reveals that the preening preachers of the “Islamophobia” myth are the real haters. Her lurid tweet envisioning Sharon being damned to hell by a vengeful Allah showed it yet again.
Sarsour wasn’t alone. Others focused on Sharon’s alleged “war crimes.” Hard-Left journalist Glenn Greenwald, hero of the Snowden scandal, pointed out helpfully:
The BBC obit gives a surprisingly clear account of Ariel Sharon’s decades of savagery and war criminality http://t.co/wpLOFrQWJP
Woke up today 2rpt Aerial Sharon has died. As young teen I did media interview @ Dallas protest against Sharon over Sabra & Shatila. #Killer
Leftist cartoonist Carlos Latuff drew a cartoon of Sharon walking down a stairway into hell, weighed down by leg iron balls labeled “Sabra,” “Shatila,” “Qibya,” and “Jenin,” while a righteous figure clad all in white except for a Palestinian flag over his chest looked on.
Editor’s Note: This is Part IV of an ongoing series by Robert Spencer highlighting human rights hypocrisy and fraudulent peace activists. For Part I, see “The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam,” for Part II, see “The Hypocrisy of the Fatwa Against Terrorism,” and for Part III see last week’s “The Hypocrisy of the Feminist Response to Islam’s Oppression of Women.”
Pope Francis may get letters this year from kings and presidents and grand muftis, but it is highly unlikely that he will receive a letter nearly as important as the one he got in December from an impoverished and imprisoned woman in Pakistan.
This pontiff has famously made it a hallmark of his pontificate to show especial care for the downtrodden and outcast, and so he may yet answer Asia Bibi and speak out on her behalf, but there are good reasons to bet against that happening.
It all started for Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Catholic wife and mother, on June 14, 2009 – or more precisely, it all ended for her on that day. She recounted in August 2013:
I, Asia Bibi, have been sentenced to death because I was thirsty. I’m a prisoner because I used the same cup as those Muslim women, because water served by a Christian woman was regarded as unclean by my stupid fellow fruit-pickers.
Picking fruit with a group of Muslim women, Bibi was ordered to fetch water for them – and drank a bit of it herself in the stifling heat. A Muslim woman rebuked her for doing so, saying to the other women: “Listen, all of you, this Christian has dirtied the water in the well by drinking from our cup and dipping it back several times. Now the water is unclean and we can’t drink it! Because of her!”
Bibi stood up to her, responding: “I think Jesus would see it differently from Mohammed.” That drove the Muslim women into a fury, and they started yelling at Bibi: “How dare you think for the Prophet, you filthy animal!” That’s right, you’re just a filthy Christian! You’ve contaminated our water and now you dare speak for the Prophet! Stupid bitch, your Jesus didn’t even have a proper father, he was a bastard, don’t you know that. You should convert to Islam to redeem yourself for your filthy religion.”
The embattled woman stood her ground, responding: “I’m not going to convert. I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind? And why should it be me that converts instead of you?”
Several days later, she was arrested for blasphemy as an enraged mob beat her and screamed, “Death! Death to the Christian!” She has been in prison ever since, awaiting execution for her “crime.”
In her letter to Pope Francis, Bibi wrote: “I do not know how long I can go on and on. If I am still alive, it is thanks to the strength that your prayers give me. I have met many people who speak and fight for me. Unfortunately still to no avail. At this time I just want to trust the mercy of God, who can do everything, that all is possible. Only He can liberate me.”
Editor’s Note: This is Part III of an ongoing series by Robert Spencer highlighting human rights hypocrisy and fraudulent peace activists. For Part I, see “The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam,” for Part II, see last week’s “The Hypocrisy of the Fatwa Against Terrorism.”
Concerned about the Islamic oppression of women? The divine sanction for the beating of women (Qur’an 4:34)? The commodification, the polygamy, the child marriage, the female genital mutilation, the honor killing? Ah – that just confirms that you’re a racist, bigoted Islamophobe – at least as far as the British feminist writer Laurie Penny is concerned. And Penny is by no means alone: her article just provides a particularly egregious case study of the general tolerance of Western feminists for Muslim misogyny.
“Islamophobes,” wrote Penny with admirable certainty in the Guardian last week, “could not care less about women of any creed or colour.” These wicked fellows only criticize the Sharia mistreatment of Muslim women because of their bigotry and hatred. According to Penny, “misogyny only matters when it isn’t being done by white men.” Penny complains:
As a person who writes about women’s issues, I am constantly being told that Islam is the greatest threat to gender equality in this or any other country – mostly by white men, who always know best. This has been an extraordinary year for feminism, but from the Rochdale grooming case to interminable debates over whether traditional Islamic dress is “empowering” or otherwise, the rhetoric and language of feminism has been co-opted by Islamophobes, who could not care less about women of any creed or colour.
How does Laurie Penny know that those whom she tars as “Islamophobes” really don’t care about women? Because, as you’ll see below, some baddies from the BNP and EDL allegedly said some rude things. And that means that any critic of Islamic gender oppression must be using feminism as a cover for his “hatred,” doncha know.
Penny grumbles about a report from Student Rights, which she describes as “a pressure group not run by students,” that stooped to “vastly exaggerating a suggestion by Universities UK that male and female students might be asked to sit separately in some lectures led by Islamic guest speakers.” In the wake of this, she said, “unfortunately, rightwing commentators and tabloids seized upon the issue to imply that Islamic extremists are taking over the British academy.”
Editor’s Note: This is Part II of an ongoing series by Robert Spencer highlighting human rights hypocrisy and fraudulent peace activists. For Part I, see last week’s article: “The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam“
Last week, after jihad terrorists Mujaahid Abu Hamza and Ismail Ibn Abdullah (formerly Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale) were convicted of murder for beheading British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street, I had an exchange with the prominent British “moderate” Muslim spokesman Mohammed Ansar on Twitter. Ansar asserted:
Know that despite the claims of these killers, Islam does not allow for their actions. They are wrong in Islam. They are wrong in the law.
Knowing that Mujaahid Abu Hamza had invoked the Qur’an on camera moments after murdering Rigby, I asked Ansar:
Adbolajo invoked the Quran sura 9 right after the killing. Can you please refer us to an exegesis of sura 9 that refutes his views?
“Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings” a 512 page Islamic analysis by Qadri, that terrorism is unjust, evil + un-Islamic.
This didn’t really answer my question, as I was asking for sources giving a peaceful interpretation of sura 9, that is, Surat at-Tauba, the ninth chapter of the Qur’an, which Mujaahid Abu Hamza specifically invoked to justify his murder of Lee Rigby. Instead of offering that, Ansar referred me to Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri’s Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings. But as this massive fatwa is a monument of “moderate Islam,” I figured it was worth a look.
To be sure, I had never placed much stock in this fatwa as a genuine exercise in Islamic moderation, as Qadri was a chief framer of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws, which have been used to victimize countless Christians in Pakistan. Still, his fatwa is often touted as the quintessential refutation of the “extremist” understanding of Islam, so it warrants careful consideration.
St. Louis Public Radio, part of the NPR digital network, reported breathlessly last week that “a 2013 report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) identifies a network of 37 organizations that systematically promote anti-Muslim sentiment in America through prejudice, fear and hatred. CAIR calls it Islamophobia.”
As if anyone who has had access to radio, television, or the Internet over the last ten years wouldn’t know that. The St. Louis Public Radio piece was just the latest in a steady stream of articles that have appeared over the last few years about the “Islamophobia” industry, a supposedly well-coordinated, well-funded band of bigots, hatemongers and racists who are doing their utmost to disrupt what would otherwise be a peaceful and harmonious welcoming of Muslims into the United States and other Western nations.
Faizan Syed, executive director of CAIR-St. Louis, articulated this mainstream view:
After September the Eleventh, you would expect there would be a spike in anti-Muslim or anti-Islam attacks in the United States. And that’s what we saw after September the Eleventh. But what’s unique is that after the first few years, those percentage [sic] of attacks actually kept going down and down and decreased. And then in 2008 and 2009, we saw another spike in those biased, motivated attacks. And we’ve seen that height now more than even after September the Eleventh. We feel that part of the bigotry and hatred that exists is not just because it exists. But rather, it is an orchestrated, well-organized, well-funded thought process that is being pushed on the American public.
If it weren’t for the “Islamophobes,” we are told, Americans wouldn’t have the low opinion of Islam that surveys show they do; innocent Muslims would not be victimized; and discrimination against Muslims would be essentially non-existent.
The only problem with this scenario is that every detail of it is false.
Jonathan S. Tobin wrote in Commentary in late November that “when it comes to the question of America’s alleged Islamophobia, there is a consensus in the American media: American Muslims have been under siege since the 9/11 attacks.” However:
With the annual release of the FBI’s hate crime numbers, statistical proof is once again available for those who are interested in the real answer as to which groups are subjected to the most attacks…. Of the 1,340 incidents of anti-religious hate crimes reported, 674 or 62.4 percent were anti-Jewish in nature. Only 130 incidents or 11.6 percent involved Muslim victims. These figures are not much different from those assembled by the government for previous years. In virtually every year, the number of anti-Semitic incidents is a multiple of those involving Muslims.
No genuine hate crime is ever justified, but the disproportionate media interest in “Islamophobia,” and its comparative lack of interest in antisemitism, betrays the cynicism and hypocrisy of the entire “Islamophobia” enterprise. There is indeed an “Islamophobia” industry, but it is not the one that you will read about in sensationalistic “exposés” from leftist sources such as St. Louis Public Radio, offering highly misleading and often outright false information about the supposedly handsome funding of “Islamophobes.”
The real “Islamophobia” industry is the one that endlessly churns out those “exposés,” trying to convince the public that the problem most troubling the peace of the world is not Islamic jihad terror, but “Islamophobia” and the “Islamophobes” behind it. In reality, the producers of these “exposés” are the ones with the massive funding. They are the ones with the carefully planned and coordinated message. They are the ones, above all, who are by their actions justifying harm done to innocent human beings.
The death of Nelson Mandela has been the occasion for a great deal of self-righteous preening. Barack Obama cribbed from Edwin M. Stanton in his statement, declaring that Mandela “belongs to the ages,” but CNN helpfully recalled more original words from Obama about Mandela from 2010, in which he laid claim to the great man’s mantle:
Through his choices, Mandela made it clear that we did not have to accept the world as it is — that we could do our part to seek the world as it should be….In the most modest of ways, I was one of those people who tried to answer his call.
The tributes to Mandela all sounded similar themes: he fought oppression and injustice and prevailed, transforming South Africa and the world. But Obama’s was by no means the only accolade to contain a self-congratulatory note. Numerous leftists and Islamic supremacists hurried to remind the world that Mandela was once branded a “terrorist,” implying that modern-day terrorists would one day be hailed as new additions to the pantheon of secular saints. Al Jazeera’s Wajahat Ali tweeted:
Let’s never forget #Mandela’s courage once made him despised & feared. The long road to icon-hood is paved w/ persecution & sacrifice.
Yet these modern-day mini-Mandelas, however they may style themselves as champions of the downtrodden and oppressed, laboring mightily against the contemporary incarnations of the architects of apartheid, have a curious blind spot. Mandela fought against an unjust system built upon racial prejudice. His struggle is easy enough to support from twenty-first century armchairs, when the oppressive system is long dead and no one in his right mind would support it or call for its revival. But oppression and injustice are by no means dead on the African continent – they’re just coming from a different source.
The video is chilling: a jihadist from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, al-Qaeda’s branch for those two countries, addresses a crowd of boys at a school in Syria, rallying them to jihad. The boys look to be about ten or twelve years old, and they eagerly participate in the lesson – which is all about how Muslims should wage war and slaughter infidels in order to defend Islam.
“The mujahideen are coming here, to Syria,” says the jihadist, telling the boys that they have come from “Egypt, from Chechnya, from Morocco, from the U.S., from Belgium, from China, from Russia, from Cameroon. … Who unites them?”
“Allah!,” the children dutifully reply.
The jihadist bats back a follow-up: “Why did they gather here?”
The boys aren’t stumped: “For the sake of Islam,” they answer readily.
That was what the jihadist wanted to hear, as he was ready to expand on the point – one gets the impression that he was asking the boys questions that they had been asked and answered many times before. “Islam,” he tells them, “unites everyone under one word, with no distinction between skin color, nationality, or anything. The entire Earth belongs to Allah. Islam elevates the Muslims and humiliates the infidels.”
Had he so desired, the jihadist could have pointed to Qur’anic sanction for the idea that Islam “elevates the Muslims and humiliates the infidels.” The Muslim holy book tells believers to “fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden” even if they are of the “People of the Book,” that is, primarily Jews and Christians, “until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.” (9:29)
“The Child is father of the Man,” wrote William Wordsworth, and nowhere is this truer today than in the Russian Muslim Republic of Dagestan, from which hailed the Boston Marathan jihad mass murderers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. In a telling indication of what kind of environment the Tsarnaevs grew up in, children in Dagestan have found a new source of fun far more engrossing than Assassins Creed or World of Warcraft: in imitation of their parents, they’re filming their own jihad videos.
The children of Dagestan are not so concerned, at least so far, about beheading Western journalists or demanding the end to this or that “occupation” or else many more will die; as is understandable given their age and experience, their jihads are somewhat smaller in scope. Brandishing weapons (which Russia Today assures us are toys), they’re filming themselves demanding good grades in school or money from their parents or others.
They are, of course, imitating what they have seen their parents and other adults around them do: Dagestan is a hotbed of jihad activity, and jihadists there are no different from jihadists the world over: they love filming themselves waving guns around, issuing threats against the infidels, spouting Qur’an verses to buttress their argument, and posting them on the Internet for the world to see.
The children of Dagestan have no doubt grown up seeing this – watching the adults around them film such videos, and gather around to watch them, and spend evenings planning them. So now they’re making their own and posting them to YouTube by themselves. They’ve been raised in a culture of violence. It is what they know.
“Shoot first, ask questions later” in the old Westerns referred to a hothead who assumed that everyone he encountered was an enemy, and was ever-ready to strike out against those enemies, even before he had adequate information. The phrase has passed into the national argot as an appellation for someone who is touchy, angry, insecure, paranoid, and reckless – but in light of some of its most recent manifestations, it should now be revised to “behead first, ask questions later.”
The first came last Thursday, when jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria announced that a recent beheading they had triumphantly filmed and posted online was, well, a mistake. They had claimed that the head, which the killers had exultantly brandished before the camera and the cheering crowd, belonged to a member of a Shi’ite group fighting to defend the Assad regime, but someone who saw the video recognized it as having once rested on the shoulders of Mohammed Fares, a fellow Sunni jihadist and ally of those who murdered him.
The second came from India on Friday, when a man was acquitted of blasphemy charges that had been originally brought against him in 2010. T.J. Joseph, a teacher and a Christian, was accused of including questions that insulted Muhammad on an exam that he gave to his students at Newman College. Members of an Islamic supremacist group, the Popular Front of India, got wind of Joseph’s exam and made the blasphemy accusation, whereupon Joseph was inundated with threats. Finally, a Muslim mob attacked Joseph and cut off his right hand and part of his arm. Newman College, seeing the way the wind was blowing, followed in the footsteps of centuries of cowardly academics and fired Joseph, canceling his pension.
Late-night comic Conan O’Brien tweeted Friday night: “Marvel Comics is introducing a new Muslim Female superhero. She has so many more special powers than her husband’s other wives.” The predictable self-righteous firestorm ensued.
O’Brien was referring to “Kamala Khan,” Marvel Comics’ new Muslim superhero, unveiled with great fanfare last week. They are only introducing this Muslim superhero because of the hugely successful post-9/11 campaign by Islamic supremacists and their Leftist allies to portray Muslims as victims of “Islamophobia” and “hatred” — when actually the incidence of attacks on innocent Muslims is very low (not that a single one is acceptable or justified), and the entire “Islamophobia” campaign is an attempt to intimidate people into thinking that there is something wrong with fighting against jihad terror and Islamic supremacism.
Will Kamala Khan fight against jihadis? Will Marvel be introducing a counter-jihad superhero? I expect that the answer is no on both counts.
In any case, O’Brien’s tweet was just a silly quip, but as the Ayatollah Khomeini said, “There is no humor in Islam.” One of those who were offended wrote: “I didn’t know that @ConanOBrien had Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller writing for him now. Interesting.” A legion of Leftists descended upon O’Brien’s Twitter feed, accusing him of being a “f***ing racist scumbag” and “Islamophobic,” and his joke of being “kinda tasteless,” “really ignorant and terrible,” “in very poor taste,” and “f***ing gross and racist.”
“Racist”? What race is Muslim polygamy again? I keep forgetting. O’Brien’s joke has a factual basis. The Qur’an says: “And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].” (4:3)
But as O’Brien is discovering now, calling attention to uncomfortable truths about Islam is “racist” and wrong, even if they’re undeniably…truths. I am sure that Conan O’Brien will not make this mistake again: almost immediately after people began criticizing him for it, he took the offending tweet down. After all, he wants to stay on television; bringing uncomfortable aspects of Islam to light is the quickest way to be read out of polite and decent society. Just ask Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, formerly darlings of the Leftist intelligentsia — until they touched that third rail of American public discourse and dared to criticize the violence and brutality that Islamic jihadists commit and justify by reference to Islamic texts and teachings.
Yousef al-Khattab was the ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin of American Muslims: a merry villain, enjoying saying and doing things that he knew would shock and annoy those whom he held in contempt. Al-Khattab made no secret of his love for jihad terror and hatred of the infidels. He praised Osama bin Laden, filmed himself rejoicing in the murder of Daniel Pearl and saying he had no problem eating popcorn while watching the video of Pearl’s beheading, and mocked the killing and maiming of U.S. troops in Iraq.
It all caught up to him last Thursday, when al-Khattab pleaded guilty to posting material online supporting jihad terror attacks and targeting Jews. But unremarked in all the coverage of al-Khattab’s gleeful evildoing is the fact that he is more than just a scoundrel straight out of a comic book: he’s a father.
Al-Khattab was a founder of the Revolution Muslim group, as well as the Islamic Thinkers Society. He has said: “I love Osama bin Laden…I love him…because I haven’t seen that he’s really done anything wrong from the Sharia. I love him more than I love myself.” Of Fort Hood jihad mass murderer Nidal Malik Hasan, al-Khattab wrote:
An officer and a gentleman was injured while partaking in a preemptive attack. Get Well Soon Major Nidal We Love You. We do NOT denounce this officer’s actions… .Sharing a Smile with the International Community, Yousef al-Khattab.
All this (and there was much more like it) was bad enough, but al-Khattab also demonstrated a decided inclination not just to praise jihadi killers like bin Laden and Hasan, but to follow in their footsteps. Philadelphia Magazine reported that al-Khattab,
posted a message asking Allah to punish Jewish people using “liquid drain cleaner in their faces” and by making “their fingers and brains stick on cafe walls from impact.”
He strongly hinted that Muslims should take up that job for Allah and kill Jews themselves. This glorification of jihad mass murder of Jews is all the more chilling in light of the fact that Yousef al-Khattab is a convert to Islam from Judaism. Formerly Joseph Cohen, he lived in Orthodox communities in Brooklyn and Israel before violently rejecting his religion, culture, and heritage.
Al-Khattab seemed particularly intent on inciting the murder of his former friends and associates. According to the Washington Post,
in a January 2009 post, he told viewers to seek out leaders of Jewish Federation chapters in the United States and “deal with them directly at their homes,” court records show. In another post that year, Khattab, who lives in Atlantic City, added a photo of the Chabad Jewish organization headquarters in Brooklyn with a link to a map, court records show. He noted that Chabad’s main temple was always full at prayer times and wrote, “Make EVERY attempt to reach these people and teach them the message of Islam or leave them a message from Islam.”
What kind of message from Islam he had in mind was illustrated by an image he once posted of himself with his three sons, photoshopped onto the Jerusalem skyline, with the Dome of the Rock prominently in the background. Al-Khattab and each of his sons, Abdel Rahman, Abdel Aziz, and Abdullah (who looks about eight years old), is holding an AK-47.
Clearly al-Khattab wanted to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60) by making the world think that he was training his sons to be jihad terrorists. After all, he also posted on his website a video of his hero, Osama bin Laden, saying: “So talk yourself into martyrdom operations… because to the same degree that the number of young men who carry out martyrdom increases, the time of victory gets closer, with Allah’s permission.”
Last Monday in the Russian city of Volgograd, a 30-year-old woman from Dagestan named Naida Akhiyalova boarded a bus. Akhiyalova, a convert to Islam, soon afterward exploded a jihad-martyrdom suicide bomb vest, killing herself, murdering six other people, and injuring over 30 more. The vest, as it turned out, was a gift from Akhiyalova’s 22-year-old husband, Dmitry Sokolov, himself also a convert to Islam.
Nothing says “I’m just not that into you” quite like giving your wife a suicide vest. The immediate explanation for Sokolov’s gift to his bride was that he had grown disenchanted with a wife eight years his senior, and found a convenient means to get her out of the way – however much his marriage to an older woman resembled that of Muhammad to Khadija, his first wife, who was fifteen years older than the prophet of Islam.
However, that scenario doesn’t account for why Sokolov didn’t just say the triple talaq (“I divorce you”), which would have rid him of Akhiyalova quickly, easily, and painlessly. Nor does it explain why Akhiyalova was apparently willing to get on the bus, even though she knew it would be her last ride.
Not much is known about her at this point, but it may be that she was a true believer. There are, after all, numerous precedents. On June 21, 2005, a 21-year-old Muslim woman named Wafa Samir al-Biss tried to kill herself and murder as many infidels as possible at an Israeli checkpoint, but her explosive vest failed to detonate. She recounted later that day that her “dream was to be a martyr. I believe in death.”
Eid al-Adha, the Muslim feast commemorating Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Ishmael, was Tuesday. Muslims frequently give special gifts (eidi) to those they love on such festive days, but in Muhammad Aslam’s home in Faisalabad, the great day came and went and Aslam had no eidi for his wife. In fact, she recounted later, he ignored her completely for the rest of the week. But that turned out to be the least of her troubles.
The following Friday, Aslam’s wife had made plans to go shopping with some of her friends, women from the area. She accordingly approached Aslam and made bold to ask him for eidi of 5,000 Pakistani rupees – that is, $47.13.
She didn’t get it. Instead, Aslam jumped up, seized her by the hair, and began beating her. Not content with the damage he could do alone, he called his brother, Muhammad Akram (no explanation is given in the Pakistani news item for the brothers’ identical forenames and different surnames). Akram, says the news report, “caught her by the arms while Aslam threw kerosene oil at her. They then set fire to her clothes.”
The poor woman is now in critical condition, with severe burns over 55 percent of her body. Pakistani police are hunting for Akram and Aslam, who fled the scene. But even if they are caught, the underlying problem will remain: Muhammad Aslam’s wife was the victim of entrenched and religiously sanctioned culture of violence against women, which still remains, and will victimize many, many more women.
The girl’s Muslim parents forced her into the marriage when she was fourteen. Her mother tried to put a good face on a bad situation, enticing the girl with a picture of marriage as a never-ending party: her husband, she said, would treat the girl to ice cream and lollipops and take her to movies and amusement parks. Reality turned out to be a bit different: her husband imprisoned her inside their home and forced her to watch violent videos featuring jihad attacks against soldiers from Western countries. He also raped her and beat her frequently.
The girl went to her father for help. But her father, as she recounted later, was completely unsympathetic, telling her: “So what if he raped you? So what if he bashed you? The only way you can come back to me is in a coffin.”
This didn’t happen in Pakistan, or Egypt, or Indonesia. This girl suffered in comfortable suburban Australia, where Western society failed her as thoroughly as did Islamic society: she went to a teacher and explained what was happening, but despite laws requiring teachers to report such incidents, nothing was done.
Perhaps the teacher was afraid that if she reported the girl’s husband, she’d be accused of “bigotry” and “hate.” The forces promoting multiculturalism are as strong and deeply entrenched in Australia as they are in Europe and the United States. But inevitably, the multiculturalist acceptance of all things Islamic and stigmatization of any and all opposition to Islamic law as “racist” and “bigoted” are going to come into conflict with core Western principles of human rights and human dignity. This Muslim teenager’s teacher apparently accepted child marriage and spousal abuse as the price of eschewing “Islamophobia.”
Last week I wrote that Western countries were soon “going to have to make a choice as to whether they’re going to affirm the human dignity of women and maintain the illegality of polygamy, or whether they’re going to allow them to become mere possessions and playthings, denizens of de facto harems.” The same choice is coming regarding child marriage. Australian society, along with European and American society as well, is before too long going to have to choose between protecting the rights of women and thus fighting against child marriage, or allowing it in the interests of marching together with Sharia adherents into the brave new multicultural future.
Polygamy is against the law in the U.S. and Canada, and that’s a good thing: the practice devalues women, reducing them to the status of commodities, and stands as an affront to their equality with men as human beings. But now anti-polygamy laws are coming under stealthy and subtle challenge, as both governments bow before the god of multiculturalism and dare not confront the increasing number of Muslims who are practicing polygamy in both countries.
The QMI Agency reported on October 1 that “Canadian immigration officials are letting polygamous men into the country as long as they arrive with only their first wife and promise not to obtain a harem afterward.” The polygamous men are gaming the system, as immigration lawyer Richard Kurland explained: “Under Canadian law, all other marriages after the first are illegal. For this reason, the first spouse only may enter Canada on a permanent basis, which creates a monogamous marriage.”
But if a polygamist wants to bring his other wives into Canada, all he has to do is divorce the others and remarry them in turn, while promising not to practice polygamy. Kurland explains: “You can immigrate with one (wife) by divorcing the others — divorce the one in Canada, marry the second one, bring her in (and) repeat the loop, as long as you sign a paper promising that you are not living in a polygamous relationship in Canada. There is no enforcement, control, or monitoring.”
There isn’t any in the United States, either. In 2011, a Muslim named Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif was charged with plotting a jihad attack against the Military Entrance Processing Station in Seattle military recruiting station. His niqabbed wife, Binta Moussa-Davis, declared of her husband: “He just good Muslim. Perfect Muslim. He pray five times a day.” One feature of Abdul-Latif’s devout commitment to Islam was his desire to marry again – without divorcing Binta, of course.
Ideally a neighborhood is a small family, a community of people who are kind and sympathetic to one another, who share the common interests of their locality even if they differ in other ways. But just as the vision of the family in Islamic law is that of a community of a man and his slaves rather than a community of love between a man and a woman, so also the ideal neighborhood that Islamic supremacists envision is not exactly the kind of place where you might lean over the fence and have a friendly chat with your neighbor.
We have seen illustrated anew in Syria recently, as Robert Fisk (of all people!) reported last week in the Independent: “The Diab family,” Fisk wrote, “can never return to Maaloula. Not since the Christians of this beautiful and sacred town saw their Muslim neighbours leading the armed Nusrah Islamists to their homes.”
“We knew our Muslim neighbours all our lives,” says one Christian whose home was destroyed. “Yes, we knew the Diab family were quite radical, but we thought they would never betray us. We ate with them. We are one people.”
The Christians, he said, had even looked after the wives and children of local jihad fighters while they were away:
A few of the Diab family had left months ago and we guessed they were with the Nusra. But their wives and children were still here. We looked after them. Then, two days before the Nusra attacked, the families suddenly left the town. We didn’t know why. And then our neighbours led our enemies in among us.
This was an ugly shock, because previously “there was a kind of coexistence between us. We had excellent relations. It never occurred to us that Muslim neighbours would betray us. We all said ‘please let this town live in peace – we don’t have to kill each other’. But now there is bad blood. They brought in the Nusra to throw out the Christians and get rid of us forever. Some of the Muslims who lived with us are good people but I will never trust 90 percent of them again.”
International Business Times reported Friday that
a French mother who named her son Jihad has reportedly been convicted by an appeals court in the city of Nimes, France, of “glorifying a crime” for sending the 3-year-old to school wearing a shirt emblazoned with the French words for “I am a bomb” and “Jihad born on September 11th.”
The jihadi mother, Bouchra Bagour, got a suspended sentence of a month in prison and a $2,705 fine. Jihad’s uncle, Zeyad Bagour, got a two-month prison sentence, also suspended, along with a fine of $5,409, for buying him the “I am a bomb” shirt.
But Bouchra and Zeyad Bagour say the whole thing was just a joke. “For me,” said Bouchra in court, “the text is simply my son’s name and his date of birth. It’s a bit different, but I thought it would make people laugh. … My brother gave my son the sweatshirt, I put it on him, and I never thought anything of it.”
Zeyad Bagour added that he “had no intention of being provocative or shocking people. “For me, the words ‘I am a bomb’ mean ‘I am beautiful.’”
The Bagours’ attorney, Gaële Guenoum, expressed shock at the court’s ruling, calling it “severe, surprising and amazing.”
Prosecutors, however, weren’t buying it. “At some point,” one observed, “there must be limits. They are not stupid. They understand the significance of what they are doing.” They knew that in this context, the Bagours weren’t just making a cute joke; they were glorifying evil.
At the height of the controversy over U.S. military intervention in Syria, as I noted last week, an Iranian official named Alireza Forghani issued a novel threat to the United States: if the U.S. entered Syria, he said, there would be “mass abductions and brutal killings of American citizens around the world and the rape and killing of one of Obama’s daughters should the United States attack Syria.” Forghani said that within two days of the beginning of the military action, a relative of every U.S. cabinet member, ambassador, and military commander around the world would be abducted and mutilated, all to be lavishly depicted in lurid YouTube videos.
As David Swindle noted right after the Boston Marathon jihad bombing,
We are now entering a new phase of the Islamic war to replace liberal societies with Sharia law. This is World War IV, a multi-decade conflict that will be for our generation what the war against Nazism and Fascism was for our grandparents. Except it will probably be worse.
Forghani’s threat illustrated just how much worse it could get. It is not outside the realm of possibility that his threat could come true, and that Islamic jihadis worldwide could begin raping, torturing and murdering Americans in large numbers, and filming the whole thing as they filmed the beheadings of Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg, Paul Marshall Johnson, and others. This could conceivably happen in the United States as well. Rape has always been a weapon of war; German women in Berlin as it was falling to the Soviets in April 1945 grew accustomed to regular rapes from the Soviet soldiers. This became so common that in their black humor they joked, “Better a Russki on the belly than an Ami on the head” – that is, better to be raped by a Russian than to fall victim to an American bombing raid.But it couldn’t possibly happen here, could it? Well, why not? It is already happening in Britain, where an appallingly large number of Muslim rape gangs have abducted English girls, gang-raped them, forced them into prostitution, and in some cases killed them. These gangs have frequently made statements that indicate that they see their actions as justified because their victims are non-Muslim; one Muslim who murdered his captive sex slave called her a “kuffar bitch” – that is, an infidel. Many of the captors have been noted for being particularly devout Muslims; one even raped numerous girls to punish them for being outside without permission of a male guardian, which is a crime in Islamic law. One judge told a captor, “You preyed on these girls because they were not part of your community or religion.”
The controversy over whether the U.S. should intervene militarily in Syria has become more about proving manhood than about chemical weapons, al-Qaeda, or geopolitics. Each side appears to be more intent on proving that they’re men than in doing the right thing by Syria, or anyone else, for that matter.
First and foremost is Barack Obama, whom Pamela Geller has indelibly dubbed the “helmeted bike rider.” His international coalition against Syria did not materialize; even the British refused to go along, for the first time in anyone’s memory. The French, who alone had pledged to go along, are now hesitating. And for good reason: Obama still has not been able to provide convincing proof that Assad launched the chemical weapons that made him want to attack Syria in the first place.
His supporters, meanwhile, appear increasingly ridiculous. His secretary of State insists that the Syrian rebels are mostly secular, contradicting intelligence reports from both the U.S. and Europe. His former opponent and now stalwart servant on the other side of the aisle, John McCain, has just as risibly promised that the Syrian rebels, whom even the New York Times has acknowledged are dominated by al-Qaeda, are “moderates.”
Obama has even admitted that “we may not be directly imminently threatened by what’s taking place” in Syria. May not be? There is no conceivable calculus by which we are directly imminently threatened by what’s taking place in Syria, but McCain’s sidekick, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, did his level best to come up with something, hysterically claiming that if the U.S. didn’t attack Syria, Iran might nuke Charleston Harbor.
The hysteria was a sign of desperation. Exposed, abandoned, and bereft of a case, Obama should have backed down. But he couldn’t, because it would have been a sign of weakness. Obama’s weakness has already been abundantly demonstrated, but seldom this nakedly and pointedly, and so he charged ahead, trying and failing to drum up support for his Syrian misadventure at the G-20 summit. The helmeted bike rider had to prove that he was a real man, a strong man, even if it meant any number of dead Syrians, and the U.S. allying with al-Qaeda.
In light of all that, it was hard to argue with Vladimir Putin’s charge that “what Congress and the U.S. Senate are doing in essence is legitimizing aggression.” Aggression is precisely the response of an aggrieved and insecure man to a challenge to his manhood.