At last the universal claim has been proven: Islamic terrorism has nothing, nothing whatsoever to do with Islam! The proof?
A new report from the Associated Press claims that recruits to the Islamic State (ISIS) knew little or nothing about Islam. After all, if they did, they would have known Islam is a religion of peace. So they wouldn’t have joined an outfit as violent and brutal as ISIS, right?
Wrong, of course.
This AP study is one of an endless stream of mainstream media articles intended to show us that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam, that the real Islam is peaceful and benign, and therefore we need have no concern about the elites’ suicidal Muslim immigration policies.
The study is, as one might expect, vague and anecdotal. Apparently much of the AP’s assumptions rest on jihadis’ self-evaluation of how much they knew about Islam, as well as their refusal to expound on Islamic theology in court. The AP tells us about a “jihadi employment form”:
[The form] asked the recruits, on a scale of 1 to 3, to rate their knowledge of Islam. And the Islamic State applicants, herded into a hangar somewhere at the Syria-Turkey border, turned out to be overwhelmingly ignorant.
AP also notes:
[W]hen pressed by the judge on his knowledge of Shariah and how the IS group implements it, Mohammad-Aggad, a former gas station attendant, appeared dumbfounded, saying repeatedly: “I don’t have the knowledge to answer the question.”
[O]ne of his co-defendants, Radouane Taher, was also pressed by the judge on whether beheadings carried out by the IS group conformed to Islamic law. He couldn’t say for sure, answering: “I don’t have the credentials.”
Very well. But even if jihadis might rate their knowledge of Islam as low, and not feel competent as non-clerics to explain the teachings of the religion, that does not imply they are “ignorant” of Islam. Further, it answers nothing about whether the Islamic State has anything to do with Islam.
Meanwhile, in selecting its anecdotes, the AP ignored those that don’t fit its agenda. We hear nothing in the AP report about the Islamic State propagandist whose parents said of him:
Our son is a devout Muslim. He had learnt the Quran by heart.
Nor does the AP say anything about the Muslim politician from Jordan who said:
[ISIS] doctrine stems from the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Most telling about the AP’s motives, their report ignores the central importance that the Islamic State places upon the Qur’an: In its communiqués, it quotes the Qur’an copiously. They quote it in threats to blow up the White House and conquer Rome and Spain; in explaining its priorities in the nations it is targeting in jihad; in preaching to Christians after collecting the jizya (a Qur’an-based tax, cf. Qur’an 9:29); in justifying the execution of accused spies; and in its various videos.
ISIS’s beheadings (47:4), sex slavery (4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30), subjugation of Christians (9:29), global imperative (8:39) and more are all based upon the Qur’an.
ISIS has also awarded $10,000 prizes and sex slaves in Qur’an memorization contests. One of its underground lairs was found littered with weapons and copies of the Qur’an. Children in the Islamic State study the Qur’an and get weapons training.
As for misrepresenting the Qur’an? One Malaysian Muslim said that the Qur’an led him to join the Islamic State. A Muslima in the U.S. promoted the Islamic State by quoting the Qur’an.
AP also hauls out the evergreen anecdote that two jihadis ordered The Koran for Dummies and Islam for Dummies from Amazon. This factoid has been seized upon before by apologists for Islam — including Mehdi Hasan and Karen Armstrong — as evidence that Muslims going to Syria and Iraq to join the jihad don’t really know anything about Islam and are motivated by other factors.
However — and of course — no one actually knows why the jihadis ordered the books. Maybe they wanted to learn how to explain it better, or were planning to give the books to others relatives, or had one of any number of other possibilities in mind. But any irrational argument will do for the likes of the AP, Hasan, or Armstrong when it comes to exonerating Islam from all responsibility for crimes committed in accord with its texts and teachings.
The AP even invokes Tariq Ramadan to emphasize that Islam forbids the killing of innocents.
But it doesn’t ask Ramadan to explain the Islamic perspective that considers all non-Muslims to be guilty, or the Islamic State’s view that they are fighting against people who are not innocent because they have rejected the authority of the ISIS caliphate.
Not in the AP report, of course, is any information about the slick pseudo-moderate Ramadan himself, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna and formerly a paid employee of the Iranian mullahcracy. Ramadan is skillful at manipulating credulous infidels into thinking that he is the very model of the modern moderate Muslim.
In reality, Ramadan has never called for any genuine reform or rejection of any Sharia provision — including jihad warfare against infidels. In the eye-opening book Brother Tariq, Caroline Fourest examines Ramadan’s positions and actions in immense detail. She concludes: “[Ramadan is] remaining scrupulously faithful to the strategy mapped out by his grandfather, a strategy of advance stage by stage” toward the imposition of Sharia in the West.
In the course of this work, says Fourest, Ramadan “disarms those who are wary of Islamism.”
Disarming those who are wary of the jihad threat is what this AP report is all about.