Culture

The Washington Post Wants You to Fast for Ramadan

The One Franklin Square Building, home of The Washington Post, in downtown Washington, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post newspaper, claims American Media Inc., which owns the Enquirer, threatened to publish intimate photos of him unless he stopped investigating how the tabloid obtained his private text messages with his mistress that were published within the story. Prosecutors are now looking at whether an email exchange Bezos published shows AMI violated an agreement it struck to avoid prosecution for alleged campaign finance violations. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The far-Left anti-Trump propaganda organ masquerading as a news source and operating under the name the Washington Post on Thursday published an inspiring op-ed entitled “As American Muslims fast this Ramadan, maybe the rest of America should consider joining in.” The Post’s articles exhorting people to keep the Lenten fast or the Yom Kippur fast have not yet been published, but I’m sure that they will be when the appropriate times for them roll around again. Won’t they?

In the meantime, I’ll consider fasting for Ramadan, but I have a fairly good idea of what my conclusion will be. The article’s author, the imam Omar Suleiman, “founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and an Islamic studies professor at Southern Methodist University,” writes: “The end result of Ramadan for Muslims, according to the Koran, is for ‘you to complete the period and glorify God for that which He has guided you, and that you may be amongst the grateful.’”

That sounds terrific, but what exactly does the Qur’an mean by glorifying God? According to the Islamic holy book, one way that Muslims can glorify God is by fighting and killing infidels (cf. 2:191. 4:89, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4, etc.). In fact, according to the prophet of Islam, there is no better way to glorify the supreme being. A hadith has a Muslim asking Muhammad: “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” Muhammad replied, “I do not find such a deed.” (Bukhari 4.52.44) A jihad group explained: “The month of Ramadan is a month of holy war and death for Allah. It is a month for fighting the enemies of Allah and God’s messenger, the Jews and their American facilitators.”

Somehow that doesn’t sound as appealing as Omar Suleiman made it out to be. But the good imam can’t be faulted for walking through a door that the Washington Post opened. His article was published in response to a Post call: “The Opinions section is looking for stories of how the coronavirus has affected people of all walks of life. Write to us.” Suleiman saw an opportunity for dawah, Islamic proselytizing, and seized it.

Still, if someone had sent in those stories about how Americans should join in the Lenten fast, or the Yom Kippur fast, would the Post have published them? Almost certainly not. Suleiman’s article, however, is just one example of a general tendency: it is imperative in today’s society to be solicitous to Muslims and warmly positive toward even the aspects of Islam that are oppressive. World Hijab Day, on which non-Muslim women don hijabs in solidarity with Muslim women, is now an annual event, despite the fact that the hijab is prescribed because it is assumed that women bear the responsibility to retrain the sexual impulses of men, and are often harshly punished when they fail to do so. What’s more, the truly oppressed people in this case are the Muslim women who choose not to wear hijab, many of whom have been brutalized and even killed.

In a similar vein, cities in the United States, Canada, Germany and Australia have begun to allow the broadcast of the Islamic call to prayer over loudspeakers, despite the fact that it contains clear declarations of the supremacy of Islam and features the cry of “Allahu akbar” (Allah is greater) so favored by jihad terrorists worldwide. In Mississauga, Ontario, Mayor Bonnie Crombie explained that the city council’s “decision today to support the symbolic broadcasting of the call to prayer during Ramadan this year will provide inspiration, familiarity and comfort to our city’s Muslim community during this challenging time.” Likewise in Minneapolis, Mayor Jacob Frey said: “At a time when physical distancing requires we pray apart, it’s incumbent on leaders to create a sense of togetherness where we can. Adhan [the call to prayer] provides solidarity and comfort, both of which are essential during a time of crisis.”

That’s just wonderful, but why is only the Muslim community the recipient of these efforts to provide comfort? What have officials in Mississauga or Minneapolis or anywhere else done to comfort any other community? Why do they think it incumbent upon them to take special steps to comfort Muslims during the coronavirus pandemic? Isn’t everyone unsettled and anxious?

The Washington Post’s call to non-Muslims to fast for Ramadan, World Hijab Day, and the broadcasting of the call to prayer in cities of Western nations all stem from the same impulse: the intelligentsia has adopted the idea that Muslims are a special class that warrants particular consideration above and beyond that given to other citizens. Perhaps they think that in doing this, they will blunt the impetus of the jihad imperative – after all, how can anyone think it right to fight to conquer and subjugate people who have been so nice to them? The intelligentsia is, of course, in for a rude surprise.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 19 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.