Thursday, November 29, 2007

In response to the Annapolis Atrocity and another ignorant and gullible Infidel advancing Islam

Why do so many who would be among the first to be forced into conversion or decapitation defend the ideology of their demise?

From here:
I sent the following to the Saudi embassy and Cc'd it to President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Rush, Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Hugh Hewitt.

This is the reason there will be no peace between Islam and Israel. It is an infidel state on land once controlled by Allah, and once Allah's, always Allah's:
Sirs,

No decent, rational human being can consider the evil cited below to be the will of a god.

Inexplicably, the President of the United States of America -- a man who claims for himself the title "Christian" -- appeases and calls "ally" some of those who consider such excrement to be "divine." He defends their depravity, even equating such vile filth with the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount in an Inaugural Address!

(Jefferson and Adams -- two men whose Islamic counterparts were much more honest about their "sacred" right to Infidel blood than are today's Muslim leaders -- would be disgusted to see such craven dishonesty from the leader of the nation they helped create.)

No less shamefully, those pretend defenders of Western Civilization -- lions behind microphones except when it comes to telling the truth about Qur'an and Sunnah -- do the same.

This is the will of Allah and the example of Mohammed. This is what you defend:
"...fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them . . . " (Qur'an 9:5).

"Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya . . . If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . . " (Muslim Book 019, Number 4294).

"Fight those who believe not in Allah . . . nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).

"Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle . . . '" (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24).

"Allah's Apostle said, 'I have been made victorious with terror. The treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand'" (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220).

"My mother came to me while I was being swung on a swing between two branches and got me down. My nurse took over and wiped my face with some water and started leading me. When I was at the door she stopped so I could catch my breath. I was brought in while Muhammad was sitting on a bed in our house. My mother made me sit on his lap. The other men and women got up and left. The Prophet consummated his marriage with me in my house when I was nine years old" (Tabari 9:131).

"Allah's Apostle told Aisha [his six-year-old bride and nine-year-old sexual "partner"], 'You were shown to me twice in my dreams. I beheld a man or angel carrying you in a silken cloth. He said to me, "She is yours, so uncover her." And behold, it was you. I would then say to myself, "If this is from Allah, then it must happen"'" (Bukhari Volume 9, Book 87, Number 139-140).

"War is deceit" (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 268).
One who likes to indulge in logical fallacies responded. Here's my answer:
That's impressive, Norman Blitzer.

A false moral equivalence between YHWH and Allah easily refutable by anyone who can read, a tu quoque argument, and an appeal to authority contradicting your previous point -- all in one brief post.

The passages from Qur'an and Sunnah I cited make "divine" pedophilia, lying, terrorism, and offensive warfare against all non-Muslims who refuse to submit to the tyranny of Allah.

The Biblical passages you cite do not.

The first was a limited, one-time command in the context of Israel's on-going wars under their first king against a nation that had harmed it, not a command for offensive warfare to make the world Hebrew.

The second, the punishment for Hebrews under the Mosaic Covenant, not a command for offensive warfare to make the world Israel.

The third, protections for a daughter in a world in which slavery was commonplace. No commands to enslave Gentiles nor for offensive warfare to make the world Hebrew.

The last, more accommodations reflecting the ubiquitous nature of slavery, not commands to enslave non-Hebrews nor for offensive warfare to make the world Hebrew here, either.

As for Rudy, which is it? Is Islam "just as bad" and Judaism, or is it a "great religion"? Or are you saying that Judaism is also a great religion?
Next,
Norman,
"All you're doing is splitting hairs and defending your god."
It's called "reading."

That and a little intellectual integrity will go a long way.
"Whether an evil act is committed once or several times; against one person or many, it's still evil."
A Divine judgment may offend your amoral sensibilities, and certainly it is terrifying, but that doesn't justify calling it "evil."

Commanding an entire religion to kill all who refuse to convert or submit to Allah is evil on a scale incomprehensible. That you are unable to admit that says a lot about you.
"As for your ridiculous explanations of slavery"
Perhaps re-reading for comprehension would help.

I was not "explaining" nor justifying slavery (neither were the Biblical texts you cited); I was pointing out that what you misrepresent as commands to enslave (or as "God's rules, not man's") were in fact concessions made to corrupt people in a sin-sick world.

This same principle is evident in allowing divorce under certain circumstances. Though YHWH says He hates the practice, yet He set boundaries on it because of the "hardness of men's hearts."

Neglecting the numerous New Testament passages regarding Liberty and emancipation calls into question your willingness or ability to tell the truth.
"Your God's "protection" for a daughter amounted to making her a sex slave."
Your historical illiteracy is showing. Why do you think the commands were given? Because otherwise ordinary, decent people would refrain from enslaving their children, or because without such limitations even worse would occur against them?

By the way, I've checked three different translations of the Exodus 21 passage. None of them render it the way you do.

Here's the way the ESV says it:
"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her.

"If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.

"And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money."
Without such restrictions, what do you suppose happened to a female sold into slavery?
"Morally speaking, there's little difference between the OT and the Koran."
"Little difference" is better than, "no better," I suppose. It looks like we're making progress! :)

So, in your opinion, limitations on the evil of an institution foundational to the ancient world is little different than universal, open-ended commands to genocide.
"Maybe Christopher Hitchens is on to something..."
Yes, if you consider intellectual dishonesty, moral inversion, and logical fallacies fashionable.
Finally,
"I've never ever expressed any anti-Semitic sentiments"
In response to a religion sworn to the enslavement or death of Israel you condemn -- Israel's God.
"if someone is going to post negative excerpts from the Koran then be prepared to see similar excerpts from the Bible posted."
A logical fallacy in first place, and a false moral equivalence in the second.
"There's no excuse for God to order the killing of children and infants or to uphold the institution of slavery. It's still evil."
The command to Israel to wipe out certain Canaanites was a Divine judgment limited to only that time, place, and target. Yes, it was brutal and terrible, but it is in no way comparable to the universal, open-ended commands to wage offensive warfare against all non-Muslims who refuse to submit to Allah.

How many Hebrews are going around slaughtering Canaanites?

As for slavery, surely a good pagan like you also hates Classical Greece and Rome, for did they not also practice it?

What ancient civilization did not?

I encourage *you* to take your own advice and actually read the Old Testament. The commands regarding slavery were not exhortations to enslave, they were limits on what could be done within that ubiquitous, global institution.

It wasn't until over three millennia after Moses that a significant movement to abolish slavery finally took hold.

Who was behind that? Christians.

You refuse to address the numerous New Testament passages speaking of Liberty and encouraging slaves to gain their freedom peacefully, if possible because doing so would make your libelous, vomitous mass a little harder to issue.
"'Yes, if you consider intellectual dishonesty, moral inversion, and logical fallacies fashionable.' Sounds like something you did."
Impressive retort. Isn't that the Comment Board equivalent of "I know you are, but what am I?"?

Telling the truth will do more to enhance your credibility than perseverating error.
"'Ignore efforts to make peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians? Not to create a Palestinian state? Seems to me most people here rather see continuing violence.'

"Thank you for your insightful post 13 Martyrs."
We see the violence continuing, but not because we want it. It's because Islam's god and prophet command it.
An addendum,
"In other words it reaks of man's attempt to structure man's evil qualities that one can have if one chooses not to attempt the path of good."
That is a perceptive analysis, ArloRay.

In the early years of Mohammed's career as a prophet of Allah, his revelations were of a cooperative and respectful nature.

Later, as he grew in military and political might, the revelations concerning non-Muslims evolved into allowing war in self-defense, then demanding war in self-defense, and then finally requiring offensive warfare against all mankind to establish the tyranny of Allah.

Couple this with the fact that many of Mohammed's other later revelations justified his most base, vile impulses. He received from Allah statements that justified his murder, thievery, polygamy, even his raping of little Aisha from the time she was nine until his death.

And Allah calls Mohammed a "beautiful pattern of conduct" for all who want to please him, making the violation of every commandment under the sun "divine" in Mohammed.
"What was it about Christians that gave Muslims the idea that they could achieve that spread of domination in the first place?"
One God says, "Love your enemies." The other says, "kill the unbelievers wherever you find them."

Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, and other non-Muslims failed to halt the expansion of Islam in ancient times; I suppose they didn't have the means to communicate and coordinate, and they didn't know what they were facing.

Today, we have no excuse.

Muslims decapitating schoolgirls for Allah is exactly like a teacher naming a teddy bear

Or alternatively, "Don't say Islam is violent or we'll kill you!"

Cry me a river. In response to one feeling sorry for Islam, from here:
"Muslims certainly feel under daily attack from the West"
Yes, Muslims ripping schoolgirls' heads from their bodies to shouts of "Allahu akbar!" is exactly like a teacher naming a teddy bear.
"from Mitt Romney saying there would be no room in his White House cabinet for a Muslim to the conservative bloggers who ridicule the Prophet and mock the religion."
Does not a lying, thieving, enslaving, raping, heretical, murderous, genocidal pedophile deserve some sort of public evisceration?

Why would you want in any non-Muslim land someone who believes it is the duty of the ummah to war against all who refuse to submit to the rule of Allah?
"Gibbons' arrest is a strike back at those who mock Islam."
Yes, in the West we regularly imprison those who insult deity. It's all perfectly natural.

So, is such a reaction justified? You say, "Prophet." That's awfully reverential toward the monster described in Qur'an and Sunnah, is it not? Does that come from religious devotion, or a precious self-image of enlightenment and tolerance?

If the former, how can you worship such a beast? If the latter, what is enlightened about defending the most barbarous, tyrannical, and intolerant ideology in the history of Man?
"The tragedy here, though, is that it hurts Islam. This severe reaction holds Islam up to more ridicule. It further divides Christians and Jews from Muslims."
Wow. A woman goes to prison for naming a teddy bear, and the damage to Islam is the tragedy?

Here's the essential point. It is what Islam teaches, preaches, and practices that hurts Islam, not what teachers, presidential candidates, or conservative bloggers might say.

An Irish Trojan defending the Religion of Death

From here, on Hillary's special friend:

Dismissing concerns about the trustworthiness of a woman described as a "conservative" Muslim, whose father was an Indian who moved to Saudi Arabia to teach Islam, and whose mother is from Pakistan hardly seems prudent.

What do you know of Islam? It is morally good to reject prejudice as a matter of principle, but what if in this case you've judged Islam without knowing anything of it?

Do you know that Qur'an is considered the perfect word of Allah?

Do you know that Allah calls Mohammed a "beautiful pattern of conduct"? That Mohammed is therefore considered the "Ideal Man" in Islam whose command and example is to be followed by the faithful without question, so that even what he saw and allowed is determinative for life and law?

Do you know that Mohammed said, "War is deceit" (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 268)?

Do you know that Allah commands the faithful Muslim to, "fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . " (Qur’an 9:5)?

Do you know that Jews and Christians are also targets? Allah requires his people to, "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29)?

Do you know that, "Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle . . . '" (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24)?

Do you know that "the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya . . . If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294)?

In light of this -- all facts easily found by the Inquisitive Infidel with an ISP -- shouldn't you reconsider your uncritical trust in Allah's servants?

With murderous deceivers, talking is either a distraction or a stalling for time

The Pope wants to talk with people who persecute the Body of Christ, who are sworn to his conversion, enslavement, or death. From here:
Pope Benedict XVI invited a delegation of senior Muslim personalities, who signed an appeal for greater dialogue between religions, to a meeting at the Vatican, according to a letter released Thursday.

The pope praised the "positive spirit" behind the October 11 message signed by 138 top Muslims from around the world and sent to Christian leaders, said Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in the letter sent in Pope Benedict's name.

The pope wanted to meet a representative group of the signatories at the Vatican, he added in the letter sent to Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, head of the Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman.

"The Pope has asked me to convey his gratitude to Your Royal Highness and to all who signed the letter," Bertone wrote.

"He also wishes to express his deep appreciation for this gesture, for the positive spirit which inspired the text and for the call for a common commitment to promoting peace in the world.
Is that spirit "positive" in the sense we would use the word, or is it positive in the sense of, "whatever aids Islam"?
"Without ignoring or downplaying our differences as Christians and Muslims, we can and therefore should look to what unites us, namely, belief in the one God, the provident Creator and universal Judge who at the end of time will deal with each person according to his or her actions. We are all called to commit ourselves totally to him and to obey his sacred will."
What a grave theological error. Is this the thinking of Benedict? Of his secretary? How in the world can one equate the God of, "Love your enemies," with the spawner of, "kill the unbelievers wherever you find them"?

How can the Christ Who died for His confession that He is the I AM, the Son of YHWH be the same deity as the one who condemns as a blasphemer all who say Allah has a son?
The letter said the pope "was particularly impressed by the attention given in the letter to the twofold commandment to love God and one's neighbour."
One's Muslim neighbor, that is. Per the command of Allah and the example of Mohammed, Infidels get only submission and slavery or death.
It recalled Pope Benedict's statement in August 2005 soon after he took office that "we must not yield to the negative pressures in our midst, but must affirm the values of mutual respect, solidarity and peace. "The life of every human being is sacred, both for Christians and for Muslims. There is plenty of scope for us to act together in the service of fundamental moral values."
Considering that Allah requires the torture, rape, enslavement, and slaughter of non-Muslims and the fact that "Allah's Apostle . . . said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit in his stead a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire . . ." (Muslim Book 37, Number 6666), neither "sacred" nor "both . . . Christian" seem true.

When did Mohammed's core values -- rape, slavery, slaughter, greed, blasphemy, and pedophilia -- become fundamental to Christianity?

None of this is mutual.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

+ Word of the Day +

TI don't worry about how it ends; I've read the book.

From Life of the World, for the Last Sunday in Pentecost (Trinity):
Revelation 21:1-7

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."

Matthew 25:1-13

"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."

Isaiah 65:17-19 [20-22] 23-25

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

["No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.] They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

"It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," Says the LORD.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Naming the "tiny minority of unidentified extremists possessing no particular ideology"

Do any of the major American presidential candidates from either party have the knowledge and courage to do so? Will any one of them "call a spade a spade," or will they continue to go the way of the craven UN in capitulating to Islamic intimidation and violence?

From here, in response to a recent interview of Fred Thompson:
While it may be true that some of those Muslims who engage in the slaughter of non-Muslims are ignorant of many things, it is not true that ignorance leads one to carry out jihad.

On the contrary, since the word of Allah (Qur'an) and the example of Mohammed (Sunnah) demand the faithful Muslim to war against all who refuse to convert or submit to the rule of Allah, it is the knowledgeable, devout Muslim who does so.

I want to vote for Fred, but I fear that he too is ignorant of the Source and Sustenance of our enemy's bloodlust:
"the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya . . . If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294).

"fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . " (Qur’an 9:5).

"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).

"Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle . . . '" (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24).

“Allah’s Apostle said, ‘I have been made victorious with terror. The treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand’” (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220).
To which RiverCocytus replied,
As the spokesperson for our nation, it does not good to fuel the fire of our enemy's hatred. If there is a good way to do it, it is to call all Muslims haters (even if it is directed in their religion) EVEN if they individually or as groups have no intention to do so.

Yours tends towards an ideological polemic, which is what Fred purposely avoided. I believe he is probably aware of the implications of what the Koran teaches. He's also aware of the sensitivity of the subject. Unless we really go to war with the whole, entire Muslim world, such things will remain unsaid.

Some need be and will need to continue to be our allies, hopefully permanently.

In the ideological black-and-white world your position makes sense, but it does not make workable policy.

It's one thing to not attack Muslims as whole. It is another thing to do what the British do and cede powerful positions to radicals.
Here's my response:
I'd like to respond to a few of the points you raise.

First, the enemy already hates us.

Second, if there are Muslims who would ally themselves with us out of principle and not expediency against those waging jihad, how would telling the truth about what their god commands "radicalize" them? Wouldn't they want to reject or revise their interpretations of such texts?

A person's accurately quoting my religion's Scriptures never makes me want to kill. In fact, I've never wanted to bomb or burn down anything in response to someone's misrepresenting Biblical texts.

If all it takes to enrage Muslims is accurately citing the will of Allah and his apostle's example, how were they ever truly our allies in the first place?

Third, what evidence do you have that Fred -- or any major presidential candidate -- has any understanding of what actually motivates our enemies?

Fred's reference to "ignorance" is not inconsistent with the UN's announcement this week that any combination of the words "Muslim" and "terrorism" in the same calendar year is offensive, their utterance justifying the "re-education" of the person(s) responsible.

Lastly, whether or not we war against "the entire Muslim world" (and again, how does accurately citing Islam's commands regarding non-Muslims "incite" to violence the faithful unless that is to what their religion predisposes them?), Islam is at war with us.

Imagine Winston Churchill claiming that it was a "tiny minority of unidentified extremists possessing no particular ideology" waging war against the civilized world rather than Nazi Germany. Would he deserve our admiration for his courage, or would he have been rightly despised for his Chamberlainian cowardice?

Justifying lying about Islam by calling it "workable policy" is craven appeasement and rewards Islamic intimidation and violence.

Instead, we ought to "call a spade a spade."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Giving thanks for America

From the great Mark Steyn.
Speaking as a misfit unassimilated foreigner, I think of Thanksgiving as the most American of holidays.

Christmas is celebrated elsewhere, even if there are significant local variations: In Continental Europe, naughty children get left rods to be flayed with and lumps of coal; in Britain, Christmas lasts from Dec. 22 to mid-January and celebrates the ancient cultural traditions of massive alcohol intake and watching the telly till you pass out in a pool of your own vomit. All part of the rich diversity of our world.

But Thanksgiving (excepting the premature and somewhat undernourished Canadian version) is unique to America. "What's it about?" an Irish visitor asked me a couple of years back. "Everyone sits around giving thanks all day? Thanks for what? George bloody Bush?"

Well, Americans have a lot to be thankful for. Europeans think of this country as "the New World" in part because it has an eternal newness, which is noisy and distracting. Who would ever have thought you could have ready-to-eat pizza faxed directly to your iPod? And just when you think you're on top of the general trend of novelty, it veers off in an entirely different direction: Continentals who grew up on Hollywood movies where the guy tells the waitress "Gimme a cuppa joe" and slides over a nickel return to New York a year or two later and find the coffee now costs $5.75, takes 25 minutes and requires an agonizing choice between the cinnamon-gingerbread-persimmon latte with coxcomb sprinkles and the decaf venti pepperoni-Eurasian-milfoil macchiato.

Who would have foreseen that the nation that inflicted fast food and drive-thru restaurants on the planet would then take the fastest menu item of all and turn it into a Kabuki-paced performance art? What mad genius!

But Americans aren't novelty junkies on the important things. The New World is one of the oldest settled constitutional democracies on Earth, to a degree the Old World can barely comprehend. Where it counts, Americans are traditionalists.

We know Eastern Europe was a totalitarian prison until the Nineties, but we forget that Mediterranean Europe (Greece, Spain, Portugal) has democratic roots going all the way back until, oh, the mid-Seventies; France and Germany's constitutions date back barely half a century, Italy's only to the 1940s, and Belgium's goes back about 20 minutes, and currently it's not clear whether even that latest rewrite remains operative.

The U.S. Constitution is not only older than France's, Germany's, Italy's or Spain's constitution, it's older than all of them put together. Americans think of Europe as Goethe and Mozart and 12th century castles and 6th century churches, but the Continent's governing mechanisms are no more ancient than the Partridge Family. Aside from the Anglophone democracies, most of the nation-states in the West have been conspicuous failures at sustaining peaceful political evolution from one generation to the next, which is why they're so susceptible to the siren song of Big Ideas – communism, fascism, European Union. If you're going to be novelty-crazed, better the zebra-mussel cappuccino than the Third Reich.

Even in a supposedly 50/50 nation, you're struck by the assumed stability underpinning even fundamental disputes. If you go into a bookstore, the display shelves offer a smorgasbord of leftist anti-Bush tracts claiming that he and Cheney have trashed, mangled, gutted, raped and tortured, sliced 'n' diced the Constitution, put it in a cement overcoat and lowered it into the East River. Yet even this argument presupposes a shared veneration for tradition unknown to most Western political cultures: When Tony Blair wanted to abolish, in effect, the upper house of the national legislature, he just got on and did it.

I don't believe the U.S. Constitution includes a right to abortion or gay marriage or a zillion other things the Left claims to detect emanating from the penumbra, but I find it sweetly touching that in America even political radicalism has to be framed as an appeal to constitutional tradition from the powdered-wig era.

In Europe, by contrast, one reason why there's no politically significant pro-life movement is because, in a world where constitutions have the life expectancy of an Oldsmobile, great questions are just seen as part of the general tide, the way things are going, no sense trying to fight it. And, by the time you realize you have to, the tide's usually up to your neck.

So Americans should be thankful they have one of the last functioning nation-states. Europeans, because they've been so inept at exercising it, no longer believe in national sovereignty, whereas it would never occur to Americans not to. This profoundly different attitude to the nation-state underpins, in turn, Euro-American attitudes to transnational institutions such as the United Nations. But on this Thanksgiving the rest of the world ought to give thanks to American national sovereignty, too.

When something terrible and destructive happens – a tsunami hits Indonesia, an earthquake devastates Pakistan – the United States can project itself anywhere on the planet within hours and start saving lives, setting up hospitals and restoring the water supply. Aside from Britain and France, the Europeans cannot project power in any meaningful way anywhere. When they sign on to an enterprise they claim to believe in – shoring up Afghanistan's fledgling post-Taliban democracy – most of them send token forces under constrained rules of engagement that prevent them doing anything more than manning the photocopier back at the base.

If America were to follow the Europeans and maintain only shriveled attenuated residual military capacity, the world would very quickly be nastier and bloodier, and far more unstable. It's not just Americans and Iraqis and Afghans who owe a debt of thanks to the U.S. soldier but all the Europeans grown plump and prosperous in a globalized economy guaranteed by the most benign hegemon in history.

That said, Thanksgiving isn't about the big geopolitical picture, but about the blessings closer to home. Last week, the state of Oklahoma celebrated its centennial, accompanied by rousing performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein's eponymous anthem:
"We know we belong to the land

And the land we belong to is grand!"
Which isn't a bad theme song for the first Thanksgiving, either. Three hundred and 14 years ago, the Pilgrims thanked God because there was a place for them in this land, and it was indeed grand.

The land is grander today, and that, too, is remarkable: France has lurched from Second Empires to Fifth Republics struggling to devise a lasting constitutional settlement for the same smallish chunk of real estate, but the principles that united a baker's dozen of East Coast colonies were resilient enough to expand across a continent and halfway around the globe to Hawaii.

Americans should, as always, be thankful this Thanksgiving, but they should also understand just how rare in human history their blessings are.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Decent, peaceful Muslims exist despite the command of Allah, the example of Mohammed, and the Islamic traditions derived from them

There may be decent, peaceful Muslims, but their existence is in spite of the command of Allah, the example of Mohammed, and the Islamic traditions derived from them.

From Spencer:
Michael van der Galiën is a 23-year-old American Studies student at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands, and correspondent in the Netherlands for Pajamas Media. In a post entitled "Islamic Law and Violence," he commented over a week ago on a response written by a student at Brown, Jebediah Koogler, to my Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week talk there. Since van der Galiën articulates so many common responses to and common misunderstandings of the work I am doing, I thought it might be useful to respond.
Jeb Koogler explains the obvious: Islamic law isn’t static. It changes over time. I also get a bit tired of people who say that the Koran preaches much more violence than the Bible and Torah do. I’ve read the Koran and I disagree; it doesn’t teach violence any more than the Bible or Torah.
I discuss this very common argument at length in my book Religion of Peace?; suffice it to say here that van der Galiën's statement, that the Qur'an doesn’t teach violence any more than the "Bible or Torah" is flatly false. For while the Bible contains descriptions of violent acts committed in the name of God, nowhere does it teach believers to imitate that violence. Where people are commanded to commit acts of violence, these are commands directed to specific individuals or groups in particular situations; they are not universal commands.

The Qur'an, on the other hand, quite clearly does teach believers to commit acts of violence against unbelievers -- see 2:190-193, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4, etc. There are no equivalents to such open-ended and universal commands, addressed to all believers to fight unbelievers, in the Bible. Of course, van der Galiën would respond that such passages have not been understood as such by all Muslims throughout history, and that is no doubt true. We'll discuss that in more detail in a moment. But it is not the point here, for when he says that the Qur'an "doesn’t teach violence any more than the Bible or Torah," he is not talking about interpretative traditions, but the content of the text.
In fact, I’d say, the only way for people to defend terrorism or violence by the Koran is by quoting passages in it completely out of context and to ignore the spirit of the Koran, which is peaceful.
Unfortunately for van der Galiën, there is not a single traditional school of Islamic jurisprudence that would agree with his assessment here, for all of the schools that are considered orthodox teach, as part of the obligation of the Muslim community, warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers.

Shafi'i school: A Shafi'i manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the clerics at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities in the Islamic world, as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy, stipulates that “the caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians...until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax.” It adds a comment by Sheikh Nuh ‘Ali Salman, a Jordanian expert on Islamic jurisprudence: the caliph wages this war only “provided that he has first invited [Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians] to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya)...while remaining in their ancestral religions.” ('Umdat al-Salik, o9.8).

Of course, there is no caliph today, and hence the oft-repeated claim that Osama et al are waging jihad illegitimately, as no state authority has authorized their jihad. But they explain their actions in terms of defensive jihad, which needs no state authority to call it, and becomes "obligatory for everyone" ('Umdat al-Salik, o9.3) if a Muslim land is attacked. The end of the defensive jihad, however, is not peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims as equals: 'Umdat al-Salik specifies that the warfare against non-Muslims must continue until "the final descent of Jesus." After that, "nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus' descent" (o9.8).

Hanafi school: A Hanafi manual of Islamic law repeats the same injunctions. It insists that people must be called to embrace Islam before being fought, “because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith.” It emphasizes that jihad must not be waged for economic gain, but solely for religious reasons: from the call to Islam “the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war.”

However, “if the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax [jizya], it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do.” (Al-Hidayah, II.140)

Maliki school: Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a Maliki legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes that “in the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.” In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with “power politics,” because Islam is “under obligation to gain power over other nations.”

Hanbali school: The great medieval theorist of what is commonly known today as radical or fundamentalist Islam, Ibn Taymiyya (Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya, 1263-1328), was a Hanbali jurist. He directed that “since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought.”

Of course, these are all extremely old authorities -- such that one might reasonably assume that whatever they say couldn’t possibly still be the consensus of the Islamic mainstream. The laws of the United States have evolved considerably since the adoption of the Constitution, which itself has been amended. So why shouldn’t this be true of Islamic law as well? Many observers assume that it must be, and that contemporary jihadists' departure from mainstream Islam must be located in its preference for the writings of ancient jurists rather than modern ones. But in this, unfortunately, they fail to reckon with the implications of the closing of the gates of ijtihad.

Ijtihad is the process of arriving at a decision on a point of Islamic law through study of the Qur’an and Sunnah. From the beginning of Islam, the authoritative study of such sources was reserved to a select number of scholars who fulfilled certain qualifications, including a comprehensive knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah, as well as knowledge of the principle of analogical reasoning (qiyas) by which legal decisions are made; knowledge of the consensus (ijma) on any given question of Muhammad, his closest companions, and the scholars of the past; and more, including living a blameless life.

The founders of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence are among the small number of scholars -- mujtahedin -- thus qualified to perform ijithad. But they all lived very long ago; for many centuries, independent study of the Qur’an and Sunnah has been discouraged among Muslims, who are instead expected to adhere to the rulings of one of those established schools. Since the death of Ahmed ibn Hanbal, from whom the Hanbali school takes its name, in 855 A.D., no one has been recognized by the Sunni Muslim community as a mujtahid of the first class -- that is, someone who is qualified to originate legislation of his own, based on the Qur’an and Sunnah but not upon the findings of earlier mujtahedin.

Islamic scholar Cyril Glasse notes that “‘the door of ijtihad is closed’ as of some nine hundred years, and since then the tendency of jurisprudence (fiqh) has been to produce only commentaries upon commentaries and marginalia.” Shi’ite Muslims have never accepted that ijtihad is a thing of the past. Thus it is with a slight tone of disapproval that the Shi’ite scholar Murtada Mutahhari notes of the Sunnis:
The right of ijtihad did not last for long among the Sunnis. Perhaps the cause of this was the difficulty which occurred in practice: for if such a right were to continue [for any great length of time], especially if ta`awwul and the precedence of something over the texts were to be permitted, and everyone were permitted to change or interpret according to his own opinion, nothing would remain of the way of Islam (din al islam).

Perhaps it is for this reason that the right of independent ijtihad was gradually withdrawn, and the view of the Sunni `ulama became that they instructed people to practice taqlid of only the four mujtahids, the four famous Imams - Abu Hanifa [d.150/767], al Shafi`i; [d.204/820], Malik b. Anas [d.179/795] and Ahmad b. Hanbal [d.241/855] - and forbade people to follow anyone apart from these four persons. This measure was first taken in Egypt in the seventh hijri century, and then taken up in the rest of the lands of Islam.
The Imam Hassan Qazwini, director of the Islamic Center of America, considers this closing off of new interpretations of Islamic law to be a serious error. According to David Smock, director of the Religion and Peacemaking Initiative of the United States Institute of Peace:
One of the gravest mistakes Muslims have committed, according to Qazwini, is closing the doors of ijtihad. They have limited legal interpretation to only four prominent scholars: Malik Ibn Anas, Abu Hanifa al-No‘man, Muhammad Ibn Idris al-Shafi‘i, and Ahmad Ibn Hambal—the heads of the Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi‘i, and Hambali [sic] schools of thought. The motivation for this was political. During the Abbasid Dynasty (750–1258 CE), the Abbasids decided to outlaw all other sects in order to strictly control religion and worship, as well as political matters.

Closing the doors of ijtihad has had extremely detrimental ramifications for the Muslim world. According to Qazwini, this decision has resulted in chronic intellectual stagnation, as thousands of potential mujtahids and scholars have been prohibited from offering workable solutions to newly emerging problems. Muslim thinkers have become captive to rules that were made long ago, leaving little scope for liberal or innovative thought.
Other Muslims, however, disagree. Seyyed Hossein Nasr of George Washington University, in his consideration of Islam and modernity, Ideals and Realities of Islam, says: “Certain modernists over the past century have tried to change the Shari‘ah, to reopen the gate of ijtihad, with the aim of incorporating modern practices into the Law and limiting the function of Shari‘ah to personal life.

All of these activities emanate from a particular attitude of spiritual weakness vis-à-vis the world and surrender to the world. Those who are conquered by such a mentality want to make the Shari‘ah ‘conform to the times,’ which means to the whims and fancies of men and the ever changing human nature which has made ‘the times.’ They do not realize that it is the Shari‘ah according to which society should be modeled not vice versa.” In any case, whether it is a manifestation of “chronic intellectual stagnation” or fidelity to the Sharia, along with the stasis in other areas there has been a lack of development in the doctrines of jihad.

Even Islamic apologist Karen Armstrong admits that “Muslim jurists...taught that, because there was only one God, the whole world should be united in one polity and it was the duty of all Muslims to engage in a continued struggle to make the world accept the divine principles and create a just society.” Non-Muslims “should be made to surrender to God’s rule. Until this had been achieved, Islam must engage in a perpetual warlike effort.” But, she says, “this martial theology was laid aside in practice and became a dead letter once it was clear that the Islamic empire had reached the limits of its expansion about a hundred years after Muhammad’s death.”

The problem is that however much of a dead letter it became in practice during times of weakness in the Islamic world, this doctrine of Islamic supremacism was never reformed or rejected. No one seems to have told the warriors of jihad who besieged Europe through the seventeenth century that the Islamic empire had already reached the limits of its expansion centuries before. No one seems to have told the modern-day warriors of Islam from Bosnia to the Philippines that jihad is a dead letter, and that Islam isn’t doing any more expanding.

The Saudi Sheikh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajid (1962-), whose lectures and Islamic rulings (fatawa) circulate widely throughout the Islamic world, demonstrates this in a discussion of whether Muslims should force others to accept Islam. In considering Qur’an 2:256 (“There is no compulsion in religion,”) the Sheikh quotes Qur’an 9:29, as well as 8:39 (“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone [in the whole of the world]”), and the Verse of the Sword. Of the latter, Sheikh Muhammad says simply: “This verse is known as Ayat al-Sayf (the verse of the sword). These and similar verses abrogate the verses which say that there is no compulsion to become Muslim.”

Other modern writers agree. The Pakistani Brigadier S. K. Malik’s 1979 book The Qur’anic Concept of War (a book that made its way to the American mujahedin Jeffrey Leon Battle and October Martinique Lewis, and which carried a glowing endorsement from Pakistan’s then-future President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who said that it explained “the ONLY pattern of war” that a Muslim country could legitimately wage) delineates the same stages in the Qur’anic teaching about jihad: “The Muslim migration to Medina brought in its wake events and decisions of far-reaching significance and consequence for them. While in Mecca, they had neither been proclaimed an Ummah [community] nor were they granted the permission to take up arms against their oppressors. In Medina, a divine revelation proclaimed them an ‘Ummah’ and granted them the permission to take up arms against their oppressors. The permission was soon afterwards converted into a divine command making war a religious obligation for the faithful.”

Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti, a theology professor at Damascus University, echoes the classic Islamic legal tenet that Muslims can legitimately wage war against those who resist the proclamation of Islam in his book Jihad in Islam: How to Understand and Practice It. Al-Buti considers at great length the question of whether this armed struggle can be undertaken “to avert belligerency” or “to put an end to infidelity.” In other words, is jihad purely defensive, or can it be offensive? (Al-Buti, however, carefully defines “to avert belligerency” to allow for a pre-emptive strike against a perceived imminent attack.)

Al-Buti bases his discussion of this question on the Qur’an and Islamic traditions. After a thorough discussion of these hadiths and other elements of Muslim tradition, al-Buti concludes that Muslim forces shouldn’t attack unbelievers. They should fight when attacked, or when an attack seems imminent, but that’s all. In this conclusion he notes that he is siding with three of the four major Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence, the Hanafi, Maliki, and Hanbali: all agree, by his account, that military jihad should only be undertaken to ward off an attack or potential attack.

Of course, such restrictions can be and have been interpreted with great elasticity, but the fourth Sunni school school of jurisprudence (madhhab) goes even farther: the Shafi’is, as well as the minor Zahiri school, favor offensive jihad. The Shafi’is and Zahiris, according to al-Buti, “proclaimed that the fundamental cause of Jihad is to terminate Paganism.”

Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Shari’ah and Law of the International Islamic University in Islamabad, in a 1994 book on Islamic law quotes the twelfth century Maliki jurist Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd. Ibn Rushd reports on a consensus (ijma) among Muslim scholars on jihad warfare – and in traditional Islamic legal terms a consensus among scholars, once reached, cannot be modified. “Why wage war?” asks Ibn Rushd, and then he answers his own question: “Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting with the People of the Book…is one of two things: it is either their conversion to Islam or the payment of jizyah.”

Nyazee concludes: “This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya] is to be exercised only after subjugation” of non-Muslims. But if this is so, why hasn’t the worldwide Islamic community been waging jihad on a large scale up until relatively recently? Nyazee says it is only because they have not been able to do so: “the Muslim community may be considered to be passing through a period of truce. In its present state of weakness, there is nothing much it can do about it.”

In this view, then, the jihad must continue as long as there are unbelievers, and only falls into abeyance when Muslims do not have the military strength to press forward with it. Making war on unbelievers is one of the responsibilities of the Muslim umma. That the three stages of jihad, culminating in offensive warfare to establish the hegemony of Islamic law – which stage is normative for all time -- can be found not only in the writings of contemporary Islamic jihadists, but also in ancient Muslim scholars, underscores the traditionalist character of contemporary Islamic jihad activity. Modern mujahedin are, in their own view, not “hijacking” Islam; they are restoring its proper interpretation – and they are successfully convincing peaceful Muslims around the world that they are correct in this.

For this to end, peaceful Muslims around the world would have to confront the fact that bin Laden and other jihad terrorists are regularly justifying their violence by reference to passages of the Qur’an and the words and deeds of Muhammad. If they don’t acknowledge this and formulate new and non-literalist ways of understanding this material, it will continue to be used to incite violence. In other words, the use that jihadists make of elements of the Qur’an and Muhammad’s teaching makes it incumbent upon peaceful Muslims to perform a searching reevaluation of how they understand those elements, so as to neutralize their capacity to set Muslims against non-Muslims.

People will do evil in all kinds of circumstances, and use all manner of justification for it; but the violent passages in the Bible are not equivalent to those in the Qur’an in content, in mainstream interpretation, or in the effect they have had on believers through the ages. The fact that in Islam violence against unbelievers has divine sanction in a way that it does not in Christianity makes religious violence more prevalent and harder to eradicate in Islam than it has ever been in Christianity. To equate it to a jumble of passages from the Bible to which no one would otherwise be paying any attention at all, at least as direct marching orders for twenty-first century warriors, is specious and dangerously misleading. Back to van der Galiën:
As regards to Islamic law: Jeb’s completely right. Throughout the history of Islam there have been debates about what Islam means, what Islamic law should look like, etc. To Robert Spencer I would like to say one thing, one word: Mevlana.
Certainly there has been and is diversity of Islamic law, but as I have shown above, there has been consensus on the necessity to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers. I would ask van der Galiën or Koogler to produce one orthodox school of Islamic jurisprudence, or one scholar recognized as orthodox, who explicitly rejected this necessity. Mevlana? That's Rumi, folks, the Persian poet and mystic. Rumi was a terrific poet, and a great mystic, but does Islamic mysticism in general preclude a proclivity for jihad warfare? Unfortunately, no. Here is a quote from the pioneering Sufi mystic Al-Ghazali:
[O]ne must go on jihad (i.e., warlike razzias or raids) at least once a year...one may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them...If a person of the Ahl al-Kitab [People of The Book – primarily Jews and Christians] is enslaved, his marriage is [automatically] revoked…One may cut down their trees...One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide...they may steal as much food as they need...

[T]he dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle…Jews, Christians, and Majians must pay the jizya [poll tax on non-Muslims]…on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protruberant bone beneath his ear [i.e., the mandible]… They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells…their houses may not be higher than the Muslim’s, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle[-work] is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public] baths…[dhimmis] must hold their tongue…. [2] (From the Wagjiz, written in 1101 A.D.)
There are other Sufi authorities who speak in the same vein.
In his response to Jeb Robert Spencer (whom Jeb criticized) writes: “I spoke of the oppression of their fellow Muslims by Salafists, and discussed at some length the fact that ‘the overwhelming majority of Muslims don’t actually follow the passages that [I] cited’.” This, of course, sounds better, but it still ignores the larger point, namely that these Muslims don’t ‘ignore’ the passages in the Koran that speak about using violence against unbelievers, but that they interprete them in their context. In other words, they don’t just look at such a passage and say “ah yes, kiell the infidel!,” they look at the entire Koran and understand that they shouldn’t use violence but should preach and practice peace and tolerance.
Actually, I have never denied that alternative interpretations of the Qur'an exist. And I am all for them -- in fact, we need more. But what we really need are ones that are effective enough to begin to seize the intellectual vanguard away from the jihadists, who make recruits among peaceful Muslims by presenting their perspective as "pure Islam." Until this is effectively countered by peaceful Muslims, that recruitment will continue successfully.
This means that Spencer et al. should stop arguing that ‘pure Islam’ is such and so. That’s not up to them to say. Pure Islam is whatever you want it to be. Rumi’s supporters thought and think that they are living true “Islamic” (or Muslim) lives. Bin Laden disagrees and would kill them if he could. Ahmadinejad thinks that what he preaches is the ‘pure’ Islam, Ali Eteraz disagrees and offers ‘his’ ‘pure’ version of Islam.
Here van der Galiën gets me flatly wrong, as I have never said that the jihadist version of Islam is "pure Islam." I have said that the jihadists say it is, and that they appeal to broad support within the Qur'an and Sunnah and Islamic jurisprudence, as I've shown above. But does all that support mean that they're correct in saying that theirs is the "pure Islam"? No, and I have never said otherwise. If someone, even Ali Eteraz, could construct a version of Islam that could convince Muslims that the jihadists did not represent "pure Islam," no one would be happier than I. But I don't think they will succeed in doing that by denying the scope of the problem and playing fast and loose with the facts, like Eteraz. Reform doesn't occur by denying the need for reform. It occurs by confronting what needs reforming, and opposing it.
Muslims should decide what ‘pure’ or ‘true’ Islam is and what’s not.
Quite so. That's exactly what I've been calling upon peaceful Muslims to do for years now.
And with regards to all religions, those who argue that it’s not about the letter but about the spirit usually have a stronger case than those who argue the opposite. We would do well to remember that. For instance when Spencer talks about how Islamic law has condoned the stoning of women. Or how Islamic law has grown to oppress women, etc. All true. From a modern Western perspective that is. If you look at what life was like before Mohammed came to power and before he established the new religion, you’ll see that Islam actually meant progress for Arabic women. You will also see that Mohammed treated his wives with kindness and depended on them (for advise, etc.). That’s the spirit of the Koran and of Mohammed’s life. If you copy the spirit you’ll get an entirely different result today, then when you only copy the letter.
All true only from a modern Western perspective? So would van der Galiën deny that there are women awaiting death by stoning in Iran today? I suppose I, with my modern Western perspective, put them there? It may be wonderfully true that Muhammad liberated women in his day, but the application of the letter of his law is oppressing and killing women today. Van der Galiën can speak loftily about the spirit of that law all he wants, but that isn't preventing those women in Iran from being stoned to death. And I am not going to stop speaking out on their behalf, and for the human rights of women and religious minorities in the Islamic world, because Muhammad was ahead of his time in the treatment of women. It's time for all those who believe in the human dignity of all people, whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim, to stand up against this oppression. I hope that ultimately van der Galiën will join us in this stand, rather than making excuses for the oppressors.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Signs? What signs? Only the leader of the free world appeasing the Religion of Death

So it appears those head coverings really are symbols of slavery and death. From where do Muslims get such tyrannical and bloodthirsty ideas?

Isn't Islam a "great world religion of peace"?

Perhaps rabello can explain to these wretches that they don't understand Islam.

From WND:
"Once Islam dominates, anyone living inside the Islamic state must abide by our rules. There is no choice. You will abide or face the punishment," said Muhammad Abdel-El, the spokesman and a senior leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terror organization. Sheik Abu Saqer, a prominent Gaza-based preacher, a founder of the Sword of Islam terror group and a subscriber to the ideology of al-Qaida, explained if Islam controls the U.S., all American women, whether Muslim or not, must cover their hair. "This is the demand of our religion. Being and walking naked doesn't mean that you are enjoying more freedom; it means that you are going against Allah's laws and you are serving the enemies of Islam who want to empty our Islamic society from its values. Uncovered heads is a form of nudity.

Yasser Hamad, a cleric and a Hamas leader in the northern West Bank, explained in "Schmoozing" Islamic law enforcers would at first try to persuade American woman to cover their heads, but eventually females would be forced. Those women who refuse may be stoned. Asked by Klein whether stoning was too harsh a punishment, Hamad replied: "If you don't respect the local law in America, if you don't pay taxes, if you drive on a red light, aren't there sanctions used against you by your government? Of course there are and it's okay with you. Why is there a problem when it comes to the Islamic state that wants to impose its rules?"
Yes, jaywalkers are routinely executed in America, especially if they're wearing the wrong hat.
Hamad and other terror leaders stated all Jews and Christians living in the U.S. once Islam takes over would need to pay the jizya – a special protection tax – and other special taxes for non-Muslims, including one for the right to cultivate land.
Which of course echoes the word of Allah and the example of Mohammed, both of which are directly responsible for the raping, enslaving, and slaughtering of hundreds of millions (billions?) of non-Muslims over the last nearly fourteen hundred years:
"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).

"the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294).
The article continues:
Non-Muslims cannot own land themselves. Saqer said no new synagogues or churches can be built in the Islamic state. Existing houses of worship may remain, but services cannot be conducted loudly or in any public fashion. The ringing of church bells or blowing of the ceremonial Jewish shofar would be forbidden, the terror leaders said.

Asked about crime and punishment, Hamad explained, "For every sin and crime there is a sanction:" "Prostitution: one hundred whippings; if the prostitute was married, he or she will be stoned until death; for a thief, his hand will be cut. But before enjoying the primitive nature of Islam and before you express how much you are shocked by our rules, I must say that these are not immediate sanctions, but they are used only if the person was warned."

Hamad explained prostitution doesn't mean selling sex; he said the Islamic definition applies the term to all extramarital sexual relations. But he boasted Islam's allowing men to marry many women was a perfect remedy for prostitution.

"In order to prevent prostitution and before reaching the sanctions of stoning or whipping, we will marry all our unmarried young. By the way, Islam allows the man to marry four women, so if he or she keeps practicing sex outside marriage and prostitution, in this case the sanctions mentioned in Quran will be used."

The terror leaders all said alcohol would be banned and American movies and television would be shut down. "American culture is very cheap and very corrupting. Your American culture is based on capitalism, on democracy, sex, and other principles that go against the nature of human beings as Allah created. We will fight all that this culture represents and promotes," said sheik Saleh Faraj, one of the main leaders of the Islamic Liberation Party in the West Bank.
Allah doesn't create human beings, he creates monsters, as powerfully demonstrated here.

There is much about American pop culture that is repulsive and immoral. Unfortunately, Islam's definition of "corruption" includes anything contrary to the rule of Allah, including the Bill of Rights.

Here comes Newspeak worthy of the Nazis, Soviets, and other totalitarian regimes:
What about freedom of the press in the American Islamic state? The terrorists said once Islam rules us, American media outlets that don't conform to disseminating Islamic messages will be closed. They said the NY Times, CNN, the Washington Post would all be banned. "The media will be closed not because there will be no freedom but because what is the logic of allowing the activity of media that can endanger the political and social stability of our state?" said Nasser Abu Aziz, no. 2 of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group in the northern West Bank.

The terrorists took particular offense at the FOX News Channel, which some called a "network of evil." Abu Abdullah said, "The evil FOX encourages a lack of respect to Islam and resistance movements and will cause moral confusion and negative political influence."

There is a possibility American music may be altogether banned if Islam takes over . . . Asked about American pop music icons, multiple terror leaders . . . said they were all familiar with Madonna and Britney Spears. "Unfortunately, I heard the names of Madonna and Spears on [Arab] television when parents complain that their children neglect their studies and their values because they are influenced by your cheap American music that you call culture," said Saqer.

Hamas's Abu Abdullah said, "At the beginning, we will try to convince Madonna and Britney Spears to follow Allah's way. But I honestly don't think they will follow. If they persist with their whoring music, we will prevent them by force. I don't think that I can be in the same place with these singers. They might be killed if they do not respect our laws."

The Committee's Abdel-El, whose group previously bombed Americans, said, "Their music video clips will be forbidden and these whores Madonna and Spears will be thrown in jail until they admit they made sins and return to the moral way. If they don't, they will be stoned to death or eighty times hit with a belt."

Abdel-El said even before Islam takes over America, he would personally kill Madonna and Spears if he ran into them. "If I meet these whores I will have the honor – I repeat, I will have the honor – to be the first one to cut the heads of Madonna and Britney Spears."
Can you feel the love? There must be a music video in there somewhere.

Lamentably, the following assessment seems accurate. Worst of all, our president's willful and stubborn ignorance of Islam accelerates the process.
In "Schmoozing," the terrorists stress repeatedly their goal is a worldwide Islamic caliphate. "We see already in America a nucleus of Islam, a base for Islam. This will become bigger, stronger, more important, until Islam will take control and will seize the power in America and the world," said Faraj. Abdel-El affirmed, "America will be overthrown. We are seeing more and more signs that prove that the process had already started."

President Bush ought to be exposing and opposing the Islamic imperatives to convert, subdue and humiliate, and kill non-Muslims.

Instead, the leader of the free world appeases the Religion of Death by:
  • hosting dinners for the religion that slaughtered three thousand of his own people,
  • making his wife and female members of his administration cover their heads in vile submission to the misogyny of Allah,
  • advocating (at least until recently) an independent Kosovo -- a Muslim stronghold in the heart of Europe,
  • skittishly avoiding using the term, "Islamo-fascism" to describe . . . Islamo-fascism,
  • equating the "words of the Qur'an" with The Ten Commandments and The Sermon on the Mount in an inaugural address as President of the United States of America,
  • using American blood and treasure to enshrine Islam in the constitutions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and,
  • urging Musharraf -- the only thing standing between jihad and Pakistan's nuclear arsenal -- to hold free elections among a population demanding Shari'a and jihad.
What signs?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Defending in arrogant ignorance those who would enslave and destroy all you hold dear deserves no praise

In response to rabello, from here:
I do find blatant negative stereotyping and blanket condemnation of human beings just because of their religion extemely distasteful, however.
Who is responsible for the "negative stereotyping," those who disapprove of slaughtering innocents to shouts of "allahu akbar!" or those who actually carry out the slaughter?

Why do you not find instead their barbarism "extemely distasteful"?
Discerning readers would note that I have not defended, nor condemned for that matter, "Islam," as I --like most non-Muslims who fight (as opposed to discuss) here --have no knowledgeable basis for doing so.
If you know nothing of Islam (still bragging about that, I see!), then how can you criticize others who do know?

What makes you think that defending evil out of ignorance is meritorious?
I do, however, try to confront bigotry, hatred, blatant negative stereotyping and blanket condemnation of human beings based on their religion
Except when Mohammed does it.

It must take a lot of courage to remain absolutely ignorant of the ideology responsible for hundreds of millions (billions?) of Infidel deaths over the last fourteen centuries (and nearly 10,000 attacks since 9/11).
I do not agree that the basic tenets of Islam are "convertion (sic) of the infidel to its beliefs or the destruction of everything the infidel holds dear."
Either you know what Qur'an and Sunnah state, or you do not.

If you do not, then you are completely unqualified to offer any opinion at all.
That would equal blatant negative stereotyping and blanket condemnation of human beings based on their religion, which as I've said, I find repulsive.
Which is exactly why "discerning readers" find your obtuseness inexplicable.
For all the "quotes" from the Koran put forth by non-Muslims on this and the old board
So, who quotes Qur'an determines whether or not the words are actually there? That's nonsense.

To argue that one must be Muslim to accurately cite Islam's texts is logically fallacious.

What makes a person qualified to cite Qur'an and Sunnah? The ability to read.
not one piece of real evidence has ever been presented that *proves* what Islam and Muslims are constantly accused of. It all comes down to personal opinion, based on what?
"Personal opinion" is a convenient but craven way of avoiding addressing the point, which is: What did Mohammed actually say and practice?

With regard to jihad, here's a snip:
"the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294).

"fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . " (Qur’an 9:5).

"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).

"Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle . . . '" (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24).

“Allah’s Apostle said, ‘I have been made victorious with terror. The treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand’” (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220).
rabello continues,
Muslims, who should be able to come to this board to discuss their religion without being victimized by constant, mean-spirited, unfounded, totally personal attacks.
What is "victimizing, mean-spirited, unfounded, or personal" about citing the word of Allah and the example of his apostle?

And why won't you do Muslims the courtesy of allowing their god and prophet to speak for themselves?
My only agenda is to speak up for rational tolerance and peace.
There's a term for those who ignorantly and vigorously defend those struggling to convert, enslave, or destroy them and theirs.

"Rational" isn't it.