Austere Religious Scholar or Muslim Master of Mayhem? Or Both?

The Washington Post has unwittingly demonstrated the truth that Islam is not a religion of peace, a message it has been loath to acknowledge.

headline The One Franklin Square Building, home of The Washington Post newspaper, in downtown Washington, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. The Kentucky teen at the heart of an encounter last month with a Native American activist at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington is suing The Washington Post for $250 million, alleging …


Yesterday, it carried the obituary of self-styled ISIS Caliph Ibrahim, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, under this original headline: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State’s ‘terrorist-in-chief,’ dies at 48. Inexplicably, a few hours later, it revised the headline to read, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48. After unremitting sarcasm on Twitter and other social media sites, the Post editors reconsidered again and ran the obituary under a third headline: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48.

So, which was he? An austere religious scholar or the terrorist-in-chief extremist leader of the most vicious and diabolical terror organization in modern history? The answer is, both.

This does not sit well with most Westerners, who think of austere religious scholars as those locked away harmlessly in monasteries or ivory towers minding their own business among ancient, dusty tomes, having nothing to do with beheadings, rapes, torture, slavery and the leading of totalitarian conquests on bloody battlefields. In none of the major world faiths are religious scholars linked with the vile behaviors associated with terrorism — except Islam. Why?

Because Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was both the leading teacher of Islam, as its prophet, and the preeminent exponent of violent conquest (jihad), as the ruthless leader of its armies. Since in the Qur’an Allah highlights Muhammad as an Uswa hasana (excellent example) to be followed by all who wish to curry divine favor, and since Islam honors him with the title al-Insan al-Kamil (which translates roughly as “the perfect man”), Muslims strive to shape their lives according to his model.

See the source image

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took this to heart, and became a scholar-terrorist in the mould of his hero. There is no question that in the eyes of the Islamic world he was a true religious scholar — he obtained his B.A., Masters degree and Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the Islamic University of Baghdad.

Few Muslims have studied their religion with the rigor and verve evidenced by al-Baghdadi. There is also no question that this man pursued jihad and ran a massive jihadi terror group strictly according to the example of Muhammad as found in the Qur’an, Hadith traditions, early Muslim biographies of the prophet, and the rulings of official Islamic law, the Shari’a. One might say he was the paragon of Islamic scholar-terrorists, a chip off the prophetic block.

See the source image

The Post obituary described al-Baghdadi’s influence thusly: ” During his tenure, the Islamic State would come to mirror its leader: a messianic figure drawn to the harshest interpretations of Islamic texts and seized with the conviction that all dissenters should be put to death. But this is only a superficial analysis. The fact is that ISIS came to mirror its leader in all its gory, religiously-inspired evil, only because its leader was mirroring the founder of Islam, who among other depravities commanded infidels to be beheaded, approved and participated in the enslavement of others, authorized his marauders to rape captive women, ordered the assassination of foes whose mockery got under his skin, threatened recalcitrant soldiers with eternal hellfire if they refused jihad assignments, declared proudly, “I have been made victorious through terror,” and so much more.

The Washington Post wanted to hide these realities from its audience by originally trying to portray Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a harmless “religious scholar”, no doubt assuming its readers would supply a Westernized mental stereotype. The blowback, however, was so fierce that they were forced to acknowledge the obscene truth that this Islamic scholar was also the murderous, salacious, uber-iniquitous leader of ISIS, the terrorist horde modeled on the life and teachings of the Arabian prophet Muhammad.

In calling Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “an austere religious scholar” as well as “extremist leader of [the] Islamic State”, the Washington Post implicitly acknowledges that the terrorist organization in question was firmly guided by one immersed to the highest degree in the heart of Islamic thought. As such, one is led to conclude by the successive titles of al-Baghdadi’s obituary that the Washington Post seems to have discovered that Islam is not after all a religion of peace. Would it be too much to hope that their future reporting on Islam will be objective and truthful in pointing out the jihadi, supremacist elements woven into the core of Islamic thought? Probably. But hope springs eternal.

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The Hornet’s Nest of Muhammad’s Islam

Turkey’s recent, illegal incursion into Syria has as its principal goal the extermination of Syrian Kurds as well as the potential annexation of Syrian land to serve as a Kurdish-free buffer zone for the indefinite future. In the process of this attack on the Kurds, it is likely that, whether intentional or not, large numbers of ISIS prisoners under the watch of largely Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces will break free from incarceration in the midst of the chaos created by Turkish aggression. Already close to 1,000 of a total numbering around 10,000 ISIS prisoners and family members, have fled camps abandoned by their Kurdish guards.

This has led some U.S. politicians, in the midst of hand-wringing over how “America has abandoned its allies, the Kurds,” to raise the additional specter that President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from northern Syria will lead to the reconstitution of ISIS as a terrorist force in the region. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R) is one such voice. Interviewed on The Story with Martha McCallum, he declared:

“The president keeps saying we’ve won this war against ISIS. We certainly have not won the war against ISIS. We’ve made gains.”

In response to McCallum’s question “For how long are we going to stay there [in Syria]?”, Kinzinger opined:

“You asked the question about ‘How long.” It’s a good question. But the problem is that’s not a choice that we can make. It’s not the choice of the United States [that] determines how long we’re going to fight terrorism. It’s a decision the terrorists make because they determine if they’re going to kill innocent people, they’re gonna reach out again to the United States to strike here. I wish they didn’t believe this stuff. I wish we didn’t have to fight them….I wish this was all over, but it’s not our choice.”

The President is right that the Islamic State caliphate has been demolished, and in that sense ISIS has been defeated. But Rep. Kinzinger is correct that ISIS is still alive and could regain its former momentum. The problem is they both are dealing with symptoms rather than with the cause.

For the President, ISIS is a hornet that keeps buzzing around the patio table at lunch, bothering the guests. He rolls up a newspaper, swats it soundly and declares proudly, “It’s dead. You’re safe.” Kinzinger is not so sure. The seemingly lifeless hornet needs to be beaten repeatedly, and we need to be on the alert, for other hornets will not be far off . “We have to stay in this swatting contest until the hornets decide they don’t want our food. I wish they didn’t like our lunch, I wish this was all over, but it’s not our choice.”

The problem is, neither the President nor the Congressman (nor most other politicians and pundits, for that matter) is looking for the nest from which the hornets continue to be hatched and sent. Until the nest is found and destroyed, the incursions will continue. See the source imageWhat Western leaders desperately need to understand is that ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and its brood of viper organizations, al-Qaeda, AQAP, al-Shabaab, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the IRGC, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Abu Sayyaf and scores of other Muslim jihadi groups are only symptoms, not the source. They are merely angry hornets, looking for whomever they can sting, but destroying them will not rid the world of Islamic terrorism. To do that, we must destroy the nest which endlessly produces them.

That nest is the ideology of core Islam, i.e., the Islam of Muhammad as taught in its source materials: the Qur’an, the Hadith and the Sira (early biographies) of Muhammad.

Found prominently in all three is the directive that Muslims are to channel all their energies and resources into conquering the world for Allah and his religion. They are to use force, as necessary, to bring all human beings into subjection to Allah. This is the primary Qur’anic meaning of the well-known term “jihad.” Westernized Muslims often object to the translation “holy war”, and I would agree with them. There is nothing holy about jihad — but it is nevertheless a religiously mandated war against all unbelievers. Let’s just call it “religious war.”

The jihadi mindset is an inherent part of Muhammad’s Islam. Any neutral observer, reading Islam’s source materials, would come inevitably to this conclusion. And it is this reality, and only this reality, that can explain why Islam’s 1400 year history across the globe leaves a copious trail of blood in its wake, as Robert Spencer’s comprehensive work, The History of Jihad from Muhammad to Isis irrefutably demonstrates. Image result for History of JihadWhy is deadly violence associated so readily with Islam as compared with any other world religion? Because only in Islam is violence against unbelievers the unremitting divine command until the end of time.

We should not be surprised, then, that as the Muslim world perceives itself to be growing in strength vis-a-vis its enemies (i.e., all who refuse to bow before it), it is increasingly willing to flex its muscles in strategic, as well as desultory, acts of violence. Since al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks just over eighteen years ago, self-professing Muslims have been responsible for at least 35,800 deadly terrorist incidents. These reflect Muhammad’s own dictum, “I have been made victorious with terror” (Bukhari, 4.52.220), which in turn acknowledges the six places in the Qur’an where Allah reveals that he casts terror into the hearts of Muhammad’s opponents (often through his followers) to defeat them (3.151; 8.12-13, 59-60; 33.25-27; 59.2, 13).

The real enemy, then, is the nest of jihadi ideology inherent within core Islam, and not simply the individual hornets birthed through this ideology. Each jihadi group gains its strength and purpose through this ideology. When the ideology is defeated, these groups lose their steam and aspirations.

The question which should be at the heart of our nation’s counter-terrorism activities is: What does it take to defeat an ideology? Naturally, one must know that ideology well to craft a successful strategy. Core Islam teaches that the flag of Allah and his prophet will inevitably fly over all the world and will be evidenced by the subjugation of all people according to the exercise of Shari’a through one Caliphate, under Allah’s appointed earthly ruler. Jihadis are taught to believe that since their cause is righteous, Allah will always grant them victory. They are servants in his cause, loving what he loves and hating what he hates (this is known in Islamic circles as the oath of al-wala’ w’al-bara’ (loving what pleases Allah and opposing all that displeases him). Since Islam’s Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing, nothing can thwart his will. Islam must win over every foe. What then does it take to defeat the jihadi ideology of core Islam?

  1. Extreme power. Shock and awe kind of power. While it is true that military might can never defeat an ideology in and of itself, when that ideology depends upon the fiction that it is invincible, the use of unmatched force against enemy combatants so as to eradicate their vaunted assets goes a long way to undermining their confidence in their ideology. Militant Muslims are quick to shout “Allahu akbar!”, when firing their weapons or slicing the heads off their bound captives. By this they mean, “Our god is greater than whatever your god, or whatever you believe in.” But when their armies are pulverized, and their conquests are taken from them, the roar of Allahu akbar becomes a soft meow. Likewise, when ISIS was moving unopposed from victory to victory in Iraq and Syria, its call for recruits elicited huge response from Muslims around the world. But as soon as it became clear that ISIS could not withstand the might of first-world military forces, and especially as it was routed from its self-proclaimed capital, Raqqa, the flow of recruits dried up. For a religion based on power and victory, weakness and defeat are hard to swallow.

  2. Demonstration of the deficiencies of Islam. Since jihadi ideology stems from the belief that Islam is Allah’s final and perfect revelation and thus is to be established as the only acceptable religion everywhere in the world (” And fight them until there is no fitnah [i.e., opposition] and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah — Qur’an 8.39), any arguments which demonstrate the defects of the religion of Islam (which Allah in the Qur’an declared perfect — “Today I have perfected for you your religion…” 5.3) begin to undermine the jihadi’s confidence in his ideology. Granted, this war of ideas may take a long time to bear fruit, but the truth will ultimately overwhelm even entrenched ignorance. Those working to defeat the ideology of core Islam must point out the defects of Islam in at least the following areas:

    a) Moral corruption — How can one worship a god who takes delight in punishing those who reject him with hellish horrors beyond the imagination of most human beings? How can one believe in a god who permits sex slavery, rape after battles, raiding and pillaging of non-combatants’ property, killing or ransoming captives, the inequality of women, polygamy, etc.? How can one follow a prophet who admits he mistook the whispers of Satan for the voice of his god, or who claims his god gave him special privileges to marry as many women as he found desirable, or who married and forced himself on his 9-year-old “bride”? How can one respect a prophet so thin-skinned that when mocked by unbelieving poets, he directed that they be assassinated by his devotees? And this is only the beginning of what can be dredged up from early Muslim sources.

    b) Logical inconsistencies — The Qur’an insists that its revelation goes hand in glove with the Old and New Testaments, since it claims that its god is the same as the God of the Bible. And yet its teachings are fundamentally at odds with earlier Scripture. Muhammad was told by Allah and in turn told his listeners if they had any questions over his recitations, he/they should go the “people of the Book” [i.e., the Jews and Christians] for clarification. Muhammad apparently believed the Bible and the Qur’an were in perfect harmony. Only after his death, when his community spread far beyond Arabia, did his followers discover the huge contrasts between Bible and Qur’an, and devise an explanation that Christians and Jews had corrupted their original teachings (though they could never produce any evidence for this absurd claim). Muslims believe the Qur’an to be perfectly transmitted from the mouth of the angel Gabriel through Muhammad to the pens of his scribes such that no mistakes could creep into the Qur’an, which has been perfectly preserved to this present time. But, according to Islamic history, the Qur’an was not even collected as a codex or manuscript until at least twenty years after the death of Muhammad. The existence of early manuscripts which differ in detail from the “authorized version” of Caliph Uthman demonstrate that there were rival versions of the Qur’an, thereby undercutting the claim of a perfectly preserved and transmitted revelation from Allah.

    c) Historical horrors — Since al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks on America in 2001, there have now been over 35,800 documented, deadly terrorist attacks around the world by self-described Muslims. But even these pale in comparison to the wholesale slaughter of non-Muslims (as well as those deemed “insufficiently or incorrectly Muslim”) by successive caliphates and Muslim empires over the last 1400 years. Estimates put the numbers slain across the globe at around 270 million. While this number must be taken with a grain of salt, there is no question that Muslim historical sources boast of butchery and carnage in the millions over the course of individual jihadi campaigns in Asia, Africa, Europe and India over the centuries. The recent atrocities of the ISIS caliphate are one mere cel in the long and repulsive movie reel of Islamic rule since the time of Muhammad.

    d) The many imperfections of the Qur’an — one of the two justifications for the legitimacy of Islam is the purported revelation of the Qur’an as the perfect and unchanged words of Allah, delivered through Muhammad to his followers without error and copied faithfully such that today’s Qur’an is exactly what it was when first gathered. Muslim historical sources, however, make clear that there never was an “original” Qur’an, and that there were many rival versions in the early caliphate until Caliph ‘Uthman standardized one version and ordered all others to be burned. Even after this, some Muslims complained that certain suras had been left out, or added, or otherwise edited. On top of this, the Qur’an, supposedly written in “pure” Arabic, contains many grammatical errors and anomalies, and hundreds of loan words from other languages. One wonders why Allah, from eternity, would have had to borrow words from other languages to reveal his will to Arabs living in the 7th Century. Perhaps Arabic was not his first language….Add to this this the numerous historical errors (e.g., naming one of Pharaoh’s advisers Haman, the Persian name of the vizier of Ahasuerus, some thousand years after the time of Moses, on another continent; the confusion of the person of Mary (Mariam in Arabic) the mother of Jesus with Mariam the sister of Aaron and Moses, thought they lived some 1500 years apart), and the embarrassing “scientific claims” (such as the sun setting in a muddy pool in the west, and the confused stages of fetal development in the womb), and one is left with serious questions about the claim to divine authorship of Islam’s preeminent source of revelation.

    e) Theological blunders — The Qur’an claims (9.30) that Jews believe Ezra to be the Son of God (in much the same way as Christians believe Jesus to be the Son of God), though there is no literary evidence to document this. Additionally, the Jesus of the Qur’an claims to bring “good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad” (61.6). Unfortunately for Islam, though Muslims have combed Old and New Testaments, there is no evidence to support such a “prophecy”. Further, the Qur’an has Allah saying that his revelation is given to Muhammad to confirm his prior revelation to the people of the Book (i.e., the Bible), but then the Qur’an later contradicts some of the central teachings of the New Testament (e.g., the sonship and divinity of Jesus, God’s trinitarian nature, the death of Christ on a cross, and the atonement). The Muslim answer to this is that Christians tampered with the biblical text to contradict the Qur’an, but there are a slew of New Testament manuscripts that predate the existence of the Qur’an, and all of them agree on these central teachings of the Christian faith. Islam puts itself in an untenable position: in order to gain theological legitimacy, it must attach itself in a parasitic way to the Bible; but then in order to distinguish itself as the true religion, it must deny the heart of the Bible in order to glorify Muhammad and his message.

    f) Sociological realities — Allah claims in the Qur’an that the Muslim community is the “best of all peoples” and that disbelievers are “the vilest of creatures.” One would expect then that over centuries of time the Muslim world would demonstrate its vaunted superiority over non-Muslims sociologically. The world’s population should be flocking to the Muslim world in order to benefit from life among the best of all peoples. Yet, what do we find? Millions upon millions of Muslims are desperate to emigrate from the 56 Muslim-majority nations of the world to make their homes instead in the West, preeminently in the USA. A brief glance at sociological statistics shows Muslim nations to be consistently at the back of the pack when it comes to education, economic standard of living, health care, working conditions, freedom of expression, religious freedom, sexual equality, humane treatment of prisoners, advancement of the arts and sciences, and so on. Measured by such a set of standards, Islam can be said to have done little or nothing to advance the cause of humanity, and indeed to have contributed instead to the deterioration of the human condition.

    No doubt there are many other deficiencies which should be explored, but this is sufficient to make the point that the ideology of core Islam is riddled with problems that must be exposed.

  3. Presentation of Preferred Ideologies. In the final analysis, people are rarely willing to jettison a life-defining ideology until they have something better to replace it. When it comes to the ideology of Islam, the West offers two possibilities which surpass jihadism. The first is Enlightenment secularism, which champions humanism and supports the freedom and rights of all human beings, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” A life of freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and other like documents makes for a society where human beings can decide for themselves what pursuits to prioritize. The secular West must do all it can to reclaim its lofty Enlightenment ideals, and to paint an attractive picture to disaffected Muslims of what a better life can look like when they exit Islam. The second is the Christian faith, which replaces a god of hate and violence with the God of love, which commands self-sacrifice on behalf of others rather than jihad against enemies, which reveals a divine savior who dies for human beings rather than a god commanding human beings to die for him. As millions of Muslims have discovered, their religious longings, never fulfilled under the harsh rules of Islam, are met in the good news of a God who draws them in love to Himself, and who promises eternal life to those who follow the way of Jesus. The Church must recapture her first love for Jesus Christ, and in joyful obedience to him must share the gospel lovingly with Muslims wherever we can meet and befriend them.

In the end, the problem of Islamic terrorism will not subside until one of two futures is realized: either Islam conquers all enemies and reigns globally, or the ideology of Muhammad’s Islam is debunked and derided for the evil it has spawned.

My personal belief is that secularism is not up to the task, because by its very nature it has no universally-accepted foundation upon which to appeal for the “unalienable rights” of humanity. It cannot speak of a divinely-mandated morality, nor of a human nature deserving dignity and honor because of having been created in the image of God. In the end, it must rest on a utilitarian plea that if we all just treat each kindly, human society will flourish. Or in the words of the song recorded by Sam Cooke in 1960:

But I do know that I love you,

And I know that if you love me too,

What a wonderful world this would be.

Nice sentiments, but hardly substantial enough upon which to build an enduring worldview of humane and equal treatment. Western secularism has endured to this point by living off the fumes of a Christian anthropology, understanding human beings to be a special creation of God, endowed with rights and protections precisely because of having been created in His image and likeness. As we have seen in the last century, as the West has retreated from this conviction and replaced it increasingly with the impersonal and naturalistic view of evolution, human beings become merely the result of random causation and as such have no special standing or purpose in the world. One day, secularism will collapse on itself, when it can no longer ride on the coattails of a religiously-inspired morality.

Christianity, on the other hand, is a full-bodied worldview that, unlike secularism and Islam, describes human beings as those created in the image and likeness of God, unique from all other earthly creatures, and uniquely capable of walking with God and each other in love. The Christian faith as an ideology is as a result uniquely suited to effectively counter the jihadi ideology of Muslims committed to the Islam of Muhammad.

Hence, if governments will use military, economic and diplomatic force as appropriate to decimate jihadis and their supporters, and if those who know the deficiencies of Islam will speak and teach boldly so as to inculcate deserved doubt in the hearts and minds of devotees of Muhammad, and if Christians will rise up to fearlessly proclaim the gospel and live it out as they befriend Muslim neighbors and colleagues and as they support mission efforts in Muslim countries around the world, the nest of jihadi ideology will finally be exterminated. It won’t happen overnight, but the solution is within our grasp, if we want it.

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CAIR San Diego Is Scared of Smart Streetlights

In December 2016 the San Diego City Council approved its Smart Streetlights Program. Originally envisioned as a way to save energy costs by switching from high energy bulbs to LED streetlights that can be programmed and managed individually from a central software platform, this system when fully installed will save the city a minimum of $125,000 per month.

Smart Sensor San Diego

The 8,000 new streetlights should be in place by the summer of 2020. In addition, 4,200 of these locations will also carry CityIQ sensor nodes containing cameras, gunshot detection and environmental data collection capabilities (temperature, humidity, barometric pressure). These sensors are being installed primarily in downtown and heavily trafficked areas.

According to the city, the purpose of these sensor nodes is to monitor traffic flow, parking availability, and pedestrian traffic so as to assist programmers in efficient planning for the future. Additionally, they provide coverage in high-density public areas to assist authorities in solving crimes caught on camera.

Some groups are raising privacy concerns. Chief among them is CAIR’s San Diego chapter. CAIR is a Muslim activist organization keen on using the legal system (or simply the threat of lawsuits) to advance the cause of Islam in America. It is quick to play the victim card, portraying Muslims as innocent targets of bigotry, hate crimes or even government oppression. In this case, CAIR – San Diego claims that the City of San Diego has purposely placed these sensors close to mosques so as to monitor them illegally and gather data on the activities of Muslims in the area.

On September 15th (and updated on the 19th), Dustin Craun, Executive Director of CAIR San Diego, wrote an article with the rather incendiary and misleading title, San Diego Streetlights Target Communities of Color in Unprecedented use of Technology in the United States. It’s misleading because other cities are also moving toward “smart streetlights” (Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta are three cities already using or budgeting for this technology presently) and so such usage is not unprecedented, and it is incendiary because there is no evidence of racism (targeting communities of color) in the article, nor is there any concern for such communities per se, only for those attending the 11 mosques within city limits.

Craun produces street maps showing where updated streetlights and/or sensors are being deployed in relation to mosque locations, claiming that the mosques are being targeted for surveillance. The facts do not back his claims.

Of the eleven mosques, eight are more than 200 feet (some more than 600 feet) from any sensor. Two are over 100 feet from a sensor, and only one looks to be within 100 feet of a sensor. This is important information to know because the city specifications note that a sensor’s cameras can only record over an oval area of some 120 to 180 feet around the sensor, enough to cover intersections, parking and pedestrian movements in affected areas. (This means that locations more than 90 feet from a sensor are beyond its reach.) Additionally, the cameras are fixed, having no pan, tilt or zoom capabilities. Further, the system is equipped with software that automatically blocks private property from view. Lastly, the software contains no license plate reader or facial recognition capabilities. All data recorded remains in the camera’s local memory for 5 days before being erased. In case of crime, police must request camera data within that period, or it is irretrievable.

At most, one mosque might be within the video reach of a CityIQ sensor, but since all private property is automatically obscured by the operative software, the mosque would be blacked out onscreen.

None of this matters to Dustin Craun, who bemoans the fact that Muslims are targeted for surveillance far more frequently than any other group in America. He never bothers to ask the question why this might be. Instead, he assumes a conspiracy of hatred, ignorance and bigotry on the part of the U.S. and local governments intended to harrass and demean Muslims. Even though he knows that the facts do not support his claims of “counter-intelligence surveillance”, Craun continues to promote the lie that Muslims in San Diego are innocent and helpless victims of an antagonistic Big Brother bureaucracy. He writes:

When asked about who designed this platform and why they would be surrounding the majority of the Mosques in the city, the cities [sic] sustainability department and police department would not answer this question.

Perhaps this is because they were dumbfounded by a question with no objective basis in reality — those departments never considered the location of the mosques in the planning process, but made their determinations based on major intersections, traffic flow, pedestrian safety and high crime locations. Craun, however, is convinced that mosque surveillance is at the top of the city’s list of concerns.

In a news clip provided by News8 San Diego, Craun is recorded on camera saying the following [picks up at 1:21 into the clip]:

They can look at every car that enters, everyone that enters and leaves those mosques. They can create data, profiles about our populations, about who’s at our mosques most frequently.

That last sentence was of particular interest to me: “They can create data, profiles…about who’s at our mosques most frequently.” Why should frequency of mosque attendance be of particular concern to authorities? And why would Craun mention this (I assume naively)? Because Craun knows what law enforcement agencies know, that increasing frequency of mosque attendance is a common sign of developing radicalization. Not all frequent attenders turn out to be terrorists in the making, but all Islamic terrorists grow in their radicalism by spending as much time as they can at the mosque, learning the fundamental beliefs and practices of Muhammad and his committed jihadis.

I served as a Christian pastor for 33 years, and can say that I would have been glad to have a CityIQ sensor across the street from any of my churches over that time period. Our congregations have nothing to hide. It never would have entered my mind to be concerned that authorities might want to note our “most frequent attenders.” If they did, my assumption would be that they were looking to thank such people for being model citizens in the community. How telling it is that CAIR San Diego Executive Director Dustin Craun frets over the possibility that the most frequent Muslim attendees at the city’s eleven mosques might be especially surveilled. If they have nothing to hide, they have no reason to worry. But the fact of the matter is that no such surveillance is possible or even intended through the Smart Streetlights program of San Diego. This is all just a tactic to create a sympathetic hearing in the minds of clueless Americans to drive home the propaganda that Islam is a peaceful religion under attack by bullies and haters.

One last thing. Craun attempts to buttress his complaint against “spying” by citing a portion of the only Qur’anic verse dealing with this subject, Sura 49:12. The text he quotes indeed says, “Do not spy.” In his commentary about how this applies to the present matter, Craun implies that by their wrongful actions the city leaders are creating an atmosphere of mutual suspicion such that “… we will never be able to join together in unity to fight against the forces who create fear about our diverse communites [sic].” The use of these CityIQ sensor nodes, he wrongly infers, is prohibited by the Qur’an,

What Craun fails to note (or at least admit) is that this passage only forbids Muslims from spying on other Muslims. Here’s the whole verse:

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

Speaking to Muslims (“you who have believed”), Allah commands that they not spy on or engage in backbiting each other. The assumption that this applies to how Muslims are to treat infidels, or more importantly in this case, how infidels are to treat Muslims, is not legitimate. To find out how Muhammad felt about spying on disbelievers, we must turn to the Hadith and biographies. There we discover that the prophet felt no compunction over spying on his enemies. Frequently he sent his companions out to surveil potential or actual enemies, or to pretend to befriend non-Muslims so as to gain information from them or cause them to let down their guard before an assassination attempt. Bukhari 5.59.495, 325, 412 and 4.52.281 provide a few accounts of such behavior by the “perfect man,” whom all Muslims are to emulate.

So, “Do not spy,” is a Qur’anic command that applies only to Muslims toward other Muslims. Even if the Smart Streetlights program were engaging in spying, Sura 49:12 would have no relevance to this matter. Presumably, if Muhammad thought it wise to keep a surreptitious eye on potential enemies, U.S. authorities have every right to do the same. And given the circumstances of the last two decades, where Muslims worldwide have been the perpetrators of the vast majority of terrorist attacks, until Muslim communities can demonstrate they have purged jihadi ideology from their communities and their Islam, and can live in harmony with those around them, we would be fools not to keep out eyes open and alert.

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Islam’s Inferiority Complex

Islam, since its very inception, has suffered from a serious inferiority complex.

Muhammad as an aspiring prophet in his home city of Mecca labored for some twelve years to convince his fellow citizens that they should renounce polytheism and bow before the sovereign rule of Allah. By the time his tribe’s patience had run out and he was finally driven from Mecca in 622 AD, the wannabe prophet had attracted a relatively small number of converts from the people of his city, and the number of his detractors was growing increasingly vociferous.

Muhammad had hoped to win support for his religious claims and stature from the other main monotheists of the region, the Jewish and Christian tribes known as “people of the Book [i.e., the Bible].” He even included in his preaching repertoire stories he had picked up listening to oral traditions concerning biblical characters. However, as the Jews and Christians learned more of his grandiose claims and eccentric teachings, they concluded he was not a prophet sent by the God of their revelations.

Rejected by the polytheistic people of Mecca and by the monotheistic tribes in western Arabia, Muhammad turned his growing wrath toward them. His preaching became more antagonistic and defensive, with Allah pledging hellfire against the prophet’s opponents and propping up Muhammad’s ego at the same time. Within his community of believers, his will was unassailable, and even Allah seemed eager to do his bidding, providing him wives and booty and self-serving revelations.

Muhammad turned out to be rather thin-skinned, which is not unusual for those with an inferiority complex. When opponents mocked him with crude jokes or irreverent songs, he was offended. However, the prophet was surrounded by devotees who were willing to “kill and be killed” in his service (see Quran 9.111), and Muhammad was not above despatching them to assassinate those who had wounded his ego.

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So too, today, those who mock the prophet, or his Qur’an, or who blaspheme against Allah commit a capital offense according to Islamic law, and are executed where Shari’a is fully implemented. What other religion demands a death penalty for those who make fun or draw irreverent pictures of its founder? Those who find criticism (even well-founded criticism) intolerable and seek to eradicate it once and for all are typically hounded by a sense of inferiority. It’s no surprise that in recent years the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) has barraged the United Nations with demands that the world regulatory body outlaw any speech that might conceivably be construed as “Islamophobic.” An inferiority complex dreads freedom of speech.

When the Islamic community cannot get others to shut down its detractors, its response is typically not one of engagement with criticism but rather the turning of a deaf ear and the rising chant of “Allahu akbar” — “Our god is greater than your god.” This is simply a religious intensification of the schoolyard spats that end up with, “Oh yeah? Well, my dad can beat up your dad,” followed by fingers stuck in ears so as to no longer hear one’s opponents.

Islam reveals its inferiority complex as well whenever Muslims publicly apostatize from the faith. No religion likes to lose adherents, but only Islam resorts to death threats to keep members from leaving. It cannot bear to admit that former Muslims find Islam untrue and unappealing, nor does it wish to coexist with such disbelievers. Instead, Shari’a mandates execution of those who leave the faith, hoping by the imposition of fear to quell the spread of doubt among its masses.

At the other end of the spectrum, if and when a famous kafir (infidel) decides to become a Muslim, such news is trumpeted far and wide by Islamic propagandists as proof of the claims of Islam. The amount of energy devoted to such efforts in the Muslim world dwarfs similar developments in other religions. One wonders whether such fanfare is directed more to shoring up the sagging morale of the Muslim community than to welcoming a new convert into its midst.

Likewise, the use of force to coerce unbelievers to adopt Islam, or failing that, to compel them to live as dhimmis (third-class members of Islamic society) betrays the nagging fear that Islam on its own cannot stand in the marketplace of free ideas. The rules enacted for dhimmis legalize their status as those inferior to Muslims, so that the Muslim world can continue to mask its vexatious inadequacies by pointing to the enforced lowliness of its enemies.

But nowhere is the inferiority complex of Islam more evident than in its unending competition with the Christian gospel. Muhammad could not stomach the stature granted to Jesus within the New Testament and in the lives of Christian disciples so he had to diminish the role of Jesus in his Qur’anic teachings. Jesus could not be divine; he could not be the Son of God; he could not be the Savior of the world; he could not have risen from the dead and ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. In effect, he could not be greater than Muhammad himself, or even his equal. He was only a prophet, a great one perhaps, but Muhammad was the last and greatest of them all.

And the message of the Qur’an could not be inferior to that of the gospel. In order to prevent that, Muhammad asserted that the true message of Jesus was none other than that which Allah had granted him — to warn humanity of the coming judgment of Allah should human beings refuse to bow before the Almighty as obedient slaves. However, in the years since Muhammad’s death, Muslims have actually had opportunity to compare the New Testament to the Qur’an, in the process of which they have discovered that the message of a God of love certainly eclipses that of a God of vengeance. So Muslim apologists today seek to reframe the teaching of the Qur’an to mimic that of the gospel as much as possible.

The New Testament declares that God loves sinners and sent His Son into the world to save those who would otherwise perish in their sins. Jesus spent much of his earthly ministry among those deemed unworthy in the eyes of the religious elites. The New Testament declares that God loves sinners and sent His Son into the world to save those who would otherwise perish in their sins. Jesus spent much of his earthly ministry among those deemed unworthy in the eyes of the religious elites. The apostle Paul summed up God’s heart with these words: “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). His love is personal and unending, an intimacy with the human soul deeper than can be found in any other relationship. This truth demonstrates why the gospel has commanded such a prodigious response from the human race from its first proclamation until now.

Muslim apologists know this, and also know that the Qur’an carries no such message. The God of Islam is not a God who loves sinners personally and intimately. Allah has not sacrificed himself in any way to purge the sins of his rebellious creation. He remains aloof from his creation, warning the disobedient of the impending tortures of hell, and promising the obedient the sensual pleasures of paradise. But a message of fear is not as compelling as a message of love, so apologists comb the Qur’an for any signs of Allah’s love. The results are not encouraging.

Forty-two times the Qur’an speaks of Allah with regard to love. Unfortunately, over half of those instances (twenty-three to be exact) refer to that which Allah does not love. For example, he does not love those who do wrong, who make corruption in the land, who reject Islam, who are not generous, who are arrogant, wasteful, treacherous, criminal, and so on. The other nineteen occurrences describe those whom Allah does love: those who do good, who are righteous, who love his prophet, who fight (jihad) in his cause, who are pure and clean (keeping the ritual laws), and so on. Allah’s love is a response to those who “make the grade,” and it is experienced not in terms of personal intimacy but through the abundance of rewards in this life and the next.

Nevertheless, spurred on by a sense of theological inadequacy, Muslim apologists look for revelatory passages to fill what is lacking, and some put forward a Qur’anic text which seems to show promise in terms of divine intimacy and affection. Found in Sura 50:16, triumphal commentators wax eloquent about how Allah’s words unveil that he is nearer us than we might ever imagine:

And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein...

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Here is proof, they say, that Allah indeed loves us personally and intimately. The Qur’an matches the New Testament in its “good news.”

But upon closer inspection, that is not at all what this passage means. The entire context of this chapter deals with those who have thumbed their noses at Allah in spite of all the signs he has given them in creation of his power and goodness. He warns them that they cannot hide their thoughts and actions from him. Indeed, he is closer to the slaves he created than their own jugular veins (those blood vessels which when slit quickly drain life from the body). Far from asserting that Allah’s closeness means his personal love for humans, this verse declares that Allah is watching closely the lives of his slaves, and nothing escapes his notice. Judgment will be meted out accordingly. The next two verses (50:17-18) clarify even further what this closeness of Allah entails — it is not his personal presence but the two recording angels he has sent to be seated, one on the right shoulder to record every good act and the other on the left to record every bad deed:

When the two receivers receive, seated on the right and on the left. Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record].

There is no love, grace or mercy in this Qur’anic chapter. Instead, we find the chilling warning that no evil thought or deed will slip past Allah’s notice. He will punish fully those who disobey him, and reward with paradise those who obey him sufficiently. But, of course, no one obeys Allah perfectly — even Muhammad was commanded four times in the Qur’an to repent of his own sins, and the Hadith traditions show the prophet entreating his followers to pray for him that at the Day of Judgment he would be found worthy.

So the idea that Allah is nearer to us than our jugular vein (which jihadis are ever eager to sever in striking the necks of unbelievers as a sign of Allah’s ultimate judgment) hardly conveys the notion that Islam’s god has a heart filled with love toward sinners. Indeed, it’s quite the opposite: Allah watches with an eagle eye for any slip-up among his slaves, and his sword is poised at any moment to despatch those who displease him to an eternity of roasting in hell.

One might wonder why anyone would remain within such a religion of internal coercion and external tyranny. The answer for most, I believe, is that they don’t know any better. They have grown up in societies that effectively blocked them from exposure to any worldview other than Islam, and at the same time their religion has told them that they are the best of all peoples that Allah ever placed on earth (Quran 3:110) and that non-Muslims are the vilest of all creatures in the sight of their god (98:6). Disgust over the presumed filthiness of the kuffar (infidels) causes them to shun anything unislamic, and fear of the death penalty for apostasy keeps them timidly corralled within the thought-prison of Shari’a orthodoxy.

But the last half-century shows that times are changing. The effects of globalization, social media and the Internet have broken through the barricades of Islamic indoctrination. Muslims are freer than ever before to explore other worldviews, to interact with infidels and discover that they are not at all the vilest of creatures (any more than Muslims are), and that certainly the Muslim community is not, according to so many standards of measurement, the best of all peoples. Today by the thousands Muslims are leaving Islam for all sorts of other options — turning to atheism, becoming Christians, plunging into secular hedonism. Whatever captures their interest provides sufficient incentive for them to jettison Islam and the inferiority complex under which they labored for so long, and to revel in the freedom they now have discovered in laying aside the straight-jacket of a religion where Allah is closer than their jugular vein.

May their tribe increase!

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Ilhan Omar and the Revolving Doors of Marriage

U.S Rep. Ilhan Omar presents herself as a practicing Muslim — she wears a head-covering out of religious conviction, talks proudly of her Muslim heritage, speaks at fundraisers for the Muslim Brotherhood front group CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and often seems to take the side of Islamic regimes over against U.S. interests. (Notably, she has praised her native Somalia, defended Hamas leadership over its rocket attacks on Israel and sided with the mullahs of Iran over against the present foreign policy actions of the United States.)Image result for ilhan omar

Yet, at the same time, she wishes to be seen as a progressive Democrat. So she stands as a proud feminist even though Islam as a worldwide movement is the greatest oppressor of women ever to control human behavior patterns. She claims to be a staunch supporter of LGBTQ rights, even though Shari’a law commands that those declared guilty of homosexual behavior must be executed — this is based on three passages in the Qur’an (7.80-84; 26.165-166, and 4.16) and numerous Hadith traditions such as this one from Sunan Abu Dawud 4462:

The Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot [Lot] (i.e., the people of Sodom), execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.” 

The conflict between settled Islamic law and Western leftist values is inescapable, but it is nonetheless ignored by both Muslim and secular progressives alike so they may harmoniously band together to destroy a larger, common enemy: traditional Western culture founded upon a biblical worldview and ethic. Hence, Ilhan Omar and so many others are able to live a lie without batting an eyelash or being challenged in their hypocrisy.

Omar’s past life is coming under increasing scrutiny as she dwells in the public spotlight. One area of special interest is her marriage history. She has been married and divorced two times, is married once again but apparently has recently filed for divorce a third time. In our present culture this is not all that unusual, sadly, but it is even more acceptable in Muslim circles since marriage is treated solely as a legal contract, not as the lifelong partnership/covenant envisioned in the Bible. What is a bit surprising, however, is the freedom Omar has had in initiating her divorces. Under Islamic law the husband can procure a divorce instantly for almost any reason, but the wife is extremely limited in her capacity to seek legal exit from the marriage.

Omar’s marital history is a bit complicated, particularly if she claims to submit to Shari’a, as any good Muslim must. Here’s a timeline of her marriages and divorces, according to civil and legal documents:

  • 2002 — Islamic religious marriage to Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi
        • They have two children before divorcing
  • 2008 — They are divorced according to Shari’a law
  • 2009 — A few months after the divorce, Omar marries Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in a state-sanctioned ceremony.
        • no children come from this union; apparently Hirsi, Omar and Elmi all live together in the same house for the next two years.
        • questions have been raised about whether Elmi and Omar are brother and sister, and the marriage was arranged “for immigration reasons.” Omar denies this.
  • 2011 — Omar separates from Elmi in a religious ceremony but does not file for legal divorce.
  • 2012 — Within a few months by Islamic ceremony she enters into a remarriage with Hirsi. Their third child, Ilwad, is born June 11, 2012. You can do the math for yourself.
  • 2017 — Omar files for legal divorce from Elmi late in the year.
  • 2018 — Divorce is granted early in the year. One month later, she marries Hirsi in a civil ceremony.Image result for ahmed hirsi and ahmed elmi

A few things stand out at first glance. From the perspective of Shari’a law, although a Muslim man can have up to four wives concurrently, a Muslim woman can be married to only one Muslim man at a time. Marriages contracted among Muslims, whether civil or religious, are recognized by Islamic courts as valid.

Though Omar has attempted to spin her merry-go-round marriages as “religious/cultural”  or “legal”, her distinctions fall flat. As a Muslim entering into a religious marriage before Allah, she must consider that marriage even more legitimate than one merely solemnized before the State. Otherwise she places a human authority above Allah. Likewise, if she dismisses her first union with Hirsi as only an affair, not a “true” marriage, then according to Shari’a law, she and Hirsi are guilty of repeated fornication (the penalty for which is death by stoning) and the children of this relationship are ever in a state of disgrace.

If, on the other hand, she recognizes her relationship with Hirsi as a true marriage, then according to Shari’a, when they are irrevocably divorced (which is accomplished with a threefold declaration by the husband of “talaq”) they cannot be remarried until Omar has been married to another man, consummated that marriage with a sexual union, and then been irrevocably divorced from that husband. At that point she would be able to remarry her first husband Hirsi.

This bizarre arrangement stems from “revelation” in the Qur’an found in Sura 2:230 —

After a divorce for the third time, it is not lawful for the husband to resume marital relations with her or remarry her until she has been married and divorced by another husband. In that case, there is no sin for the former husband to marry her if they (both) think that they can abide by the law. These are the laws of God. He explains them for the people of knowledge. (Sarwar trans.)

That the wife in this case must have engaged in sex with the second husband bef0re being divorced and remarried to the first husband is confirmed by a hadith tradition found three times in Sahih Bukhari (7.72.715; 7.63.187; 8.73.107) as well as in al-Muwatta Imam Malik (28.7.17). Here’s the version from Bukhari 7.72.715:

Narrated ‘Ikrima: Rifa’a divorced his wife whereupon ‘AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. ‘Aisha [Muhammad’s young and favorite wife] said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (‘Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s Apostle came, ‘Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” When ‘AbdurRahman heard that his wife had gone to the Prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, “By Allah! I have done no wrong to him but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this,” holding and showing the fringe of her garment, ‘Abdur-Rahman said, “By Allah, O Allah’s Apostle! She has told a lie! I am very strong and can satisfy her but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifa’a.” Allah’s Apostle said, to her, “If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifa’a unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you.” Then the Prophet saw two boys with ‘Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), “Are these your sons?” On that ‘AbdurRahman said, “Yes.” The Prophet said, “You claim what you claim (i.e., that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow.”

The woman in question seeks release from her second marriage so she can go back to her first husband. Apparently, her present husband is physically abusive (she is sporting deep bruises from his beatings, as Muhammad’s wife ‘Aisha points out to the prophet). Additionally, she claims he is impotent and cannot satisfy her sexually, meaning their marriage had never been consummated. The husband, ‘Abdur-Rahman, learning that his wife had gone to the prophet to complain, rushed over to defend himself and his marriage. Disputing her charge of impotence, he claimed that she was rebellious toward him and only wanted to return to her first husband. Muhammad completely overlooks the issue of physical abuse by ‘Abdur-Rahman (after all, the Qur’an gives license to the husband to beat his wife or wives if he “fears rebellion” from them and they have not responded favorably to lesser punishments (see 4:34)), and deals only with the wife’s desire to divorce ‘Abdur- Rahman in order to return to Rifa’a, her first husband. He makes it clear that she is “stuck” with Abdur-Rahman until she allows him to consummate the marriage with her, after which point he can divorce her and she can be permissibly remarried to her first husband. 

This arrangement has come to be known as “nikah halala” or “nikah hilla”. The Arabic word “nikah” literally means sexual intercourse, but more largely refers to the institution of marriage, to which intercourse is largely confined (except for sex slaves and those raped licitly during jihad, according to Shari’a law). “Halala” and “hilla” come from the same Arabic root word used to designate permissible foods to eat (halal) over against forbidden ones (haram). So, nikah halala means “permitted or licit sex” and has come to designate a marriage entered into specifically so as to make a divorced woman “permissible” for her first husband to marry once again, after she has been “enjoyed” sexually by another man in an intervening marriage. In fact, in Islamic Arabic parlance, the intervening husband is known as a “muhallil” (also from the same root for halal), which means “one who makes permissible/lawful.”

Sadly, in some parts of the Muslim world this has turned into something of a cottage industry with men hiring themselves out as muhallils, all in “a humanitarian effort” to reunite couples divorced through a husband’s impetuous and hotheaded “triple talaq” (talaq is the Arabic word for divorce, and when a husband repeats it three times in succession to his wife, she is immediately and irrevocably divorced). If he regrets his hasty act and wants to keep his wife, his only recourse is to find a muhallil who will marry his wife, sleep with her at least once, and then agree to divorce her immediately. 

According to Shari’a law as found in one popular manual (Reliance of the Traveller), such a “one night stand” kind of marriage is not valid, if the purpose of the sham marriage is only to allow a divorced couple to remarry. But there is a way around this legally — as long as that purpose is not explicitly stipulated in the written marriage contract, then the nikah halala is legal:

m6.12 The following types of marriage are legally invalid:

(3) or to marry a woman after her threefold divorce solely to cohabit and thus permit her (dis: n7.7) to remarry her previous husband (A: which is an enormity (dis: p29)), though if the marriage agreement is made for this reason but does not expressly stipulate it, then it is legally valid (dis: c5.2).

So, with regard to practicing Muslim Ilhan Omar, who married and divorced Ahmed Hirsi (2002-08), and then married him again in 2012, such a remarriage would only be allowed to them if she had married and been sexually active with another husband in the intervening years. Omar asserts that this is indeed the case, as she legally married Ahmed Elmi in 2009. However, there are significant questions as to the legality of this marriage since there is growing evidence that Elmi may in fact be Omar’s full brother (from the same parents). If that is the case, then Omar and Elmi might not have consummated the relationship — it would have been a marriage only on paper, to grant him legal status in the USA and the ability to quickly pursue a college degree (which he did). However, if the marriage was never consummated, then Omar’s remarriage to Hirsi would be forbidden according to Islamic law. On the other hand, if she and Elmi did consummate their marriage and are in fact sister and brother, then they would be guilty of incest, a crime in America and a major sin in Islam. Such a marriage would not be regarded as valid by Shari’a law, and would again not qualify as “nikah halala”. In this case, her subsequent remarriage to Hirsi would also be forbidden. 

The only safe course for Ilhan Omar would be to demonstrate beyond doubt that Ahmed Elmi is indeed not her brother or other close relative. Then according to both US law and Shari’a restrictions, she would be in the clear. The only thing left for her to explain would be how she could continue to be bound to two marriages concurrently from 2012 to 2018, when she finally divorced Elmi, after having remarried Hirsi in 2012 through an Islamic ceremony. If she claims that she was not “really” married to Hirsi in 2012, but only married him legally in 2018 after her divorce from Elmi, then according to Islamic law she is guilty of adultery (they had their third child in 2012), the penalty for which is death by stoning. Perhaps this is one reason Omar has not shown unqualified support for the implementation of Shari’a law in the USA, and why she wouldn’t want to take up occupancy in a Shari’a-compliant country.

In any case, Omar’s vacillation between U.S. and Islamic marriage laws whenever it has suited her purposes leaves me wondering where her allegiances really lie. Will she support Western-style human rights when it no longer suits her? Will she adopt pro-Shari’a positions when that gains her greater support from voters in her district? Is she an equal opportunity offender, as long as it advances her career? Time will tell. But one thing is for sure, her marital history raises lots of questions as to her integrity.

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Ilhan Omar and the Door of No Return

Freshman Minnesota Congressional Representative Ilhan Omar, in an apparent bid to keep a Twitter feud alive with President Trump, tweeted a photo of herself posing with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the “Door of No Return” on the coast of Ghana.

Part of a 15 member Congressional Black Caucus junket ( funded presumably by US tax dollars), they have been in Ghana to “mark ‘The Year of Return’ and the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown Virginia,” according to Pelosi. The Door of No Return, a part of the Cape Coast Castle, stands as a reminder of the evils of slavery — it marks the exit from dungeons under the castle where African slaves were held in merciless conditions until marched through that door to be packed on ships and transported to Europe and the Americas. Estimates are that 11 million African slaves ended up in the Americas; of those only roughly 400,000 came to the British colonies and subsequent United States. The vast bulk (10 million plus) were sold to buyers in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

European slave traders have rightly been pilloried for their central role in the transport and sale of other human beings for profit, and for their inhuman treatment of those they considered less than human. And, of course, Americans of the 17th through 19th Centuries have been condemned for being an avid market for the purchase of slaves and maintenance of slavery as an acceptable institution of society.

Little, of course, has been said concerning the fact that until modern times slavery had always been part and parcel of life in every civilization of the world — the powerful enslaved the weak; the conquerors subjugated their victims; empires imposed their culture on client states and conscripted “non-citizens” to forced labor. That was the way of the world. To the victor go the spoils.

Even less has been said of the fact that though the American colonists enslaved over 400,000 Africans, a blight on our national history, that accounts for only about 4% of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Where is the clamor for the guilty nation-states of Central and South America and the West Indies to acknowledge their huge part in this evil and to offer their mea culpas? Or is the United States to be held to a different standard than nations elsewhere?

But there is one fact concerning African slave trade that is even more obscured in Western media than this. There could be no slaves to transport from Africa to the West were it not for those willing to raid villages and capture innocent men, women and children and then march them bound to the slave markets they created at port cities in western Africa where the European slave ship captains could purchase them “wholesale.” The villainy of the white traders and slaveholders is often publicized, but who was the principal group that enthralled Africans in the first place to sell them to others? It turns out that the primary creators of the slave trade in Africa were Arab Muslims, going back all the way to the time of Muhammad.

Since Muhammad, the “excellent example” whom Muslims are enjoined by the Qur’an to emulate, owned slaves for himself, and bought and sold and gifted slaves in regular transactions, and mandated through Allah’s commands that those captured in jihad raids and battles became the property of the jihadis to keep for themselves or sell in slave markets, Islam has always determined slavery to be a legal and proper institution, with the one caveat that Muslims are never to enslave fellow Muslims. Unbelievers (the “kuffar”) have no rights to freedom and self-determination but are free game for Muslims able to take them captive.

As Arab Muslims invaded North Africa and colonized it, they quickly took slaves and began to send them back to the centers of their growing empire in the Middle East and Asia. With their growth in power and lust for conquest, they pushed south into sub-Saharan Africa and down both eastern and western coasts, subjugating tribes and assimilating some while enslaving others. Up until the Atlantic slave trade opened up in the 1600s, the bulk of African slaves were shipped east to the growing Muslim empires in Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Reasonable estimates suggest that some 14 million African slaves were sent east to Muslim overlords in the rapidly expanding Islamic territories. Once the transatlantic corridor opened, another 11 million were sold by the Muslim slave traders in Africa to be sent west.

Since Islam in its theology sees nothing morally wrong with the enslavement of non-Muslims, it should not come as a surprise to discover that in its 1400 years of existence Islam as a religio-politico-supremacist movement has been responsible for more human slavery than any other movement in history. Its lead role in African slavery is only one horrific chapter in a tome that includes southern Europe, the Middle East, much of Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Even today, much of the unreported slavery that exists is to be found in Muslim-majority countries where it is masked in the form of expatriate Third World employees “hired” as housekeepers and private servants.

Ilhan Omar, in her “send her back” squabble with the President, wants to play off her African roots and America’s guilty psyche over its past sins by implying that she too and her ancestors were victims of the transatlantic slave trade and that “Donald Trump and other white racists” are seeking to continue to victimize her.

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This, however, is farcical on two levels. First, Omar takes pride in presenting herself as a practicing Muslim and yet has nothing to say concerning the massive evils of slavery perpetrated worldwide by Islam over 1400 years. Instead, she wants to focus on the relatively small evils (by comparison) already admitted by the USA in its retrospective on American history. While as a nation we have repented of and outlawed slavery and are working to eradicate racism, Islam has made no strides in this direction except what was required of countries for United Nations’ membership. Omar is quick to calumniate the USA for past sins, but stands silent in the face of the greatest perpetrator of the evils she finds so reprehensible, presumably because she is prohibited by Islam from denigrating the religion that Allah perfected and delivered to the world through Muhammad (Qur’an 5:3). Well could the words spoken by a famous Jewish rabbi to the hypocrites of his day be applied to Ilhan Omar: “You blind guide! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”

Second, Omar’s presence as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus creates the implication that she stands with other Black Americans as a victim of America’s pre-Emancipation and Jim Crow eras. But nothing could be further from the truth. Omar’s heritage is Somali, and her family fled thence to Kenya. We have no way of knowing whether any of her ancestors were taken as slaves by the Arab Muslim slavers of Africa, but one thing is certain — if they were, they would have been shipped from the East coast of the continent, and thus would have lived out their days in the Middle East, central Asia or India. None of them would have undergone forced transport to the Americas.

So how did Omar and her family end up in the USA? It was through the grace and mercy of the US government, and the sponsorship of an American church. After having fled the savage brutality of life in Somalia, Omar survived as a child with her family in an overtaxed refugee camp in Kenya, from which after several years they immigrated as refugees to the United States in 1992, when she was ten, and were granted asylum in 1995. Her life since arriving has been a remarkable success story, learning English, gaining her US citizenship in 2000 at the age of seventeen, graduating high school and then college in 2011. Rising through the ranks of local and state politics, Omar successfully ran for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives and took up that role in January 2017. A year and a half later, she filed to run for the United States House of Representatives to fill Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District seat, won that election in November 2018 and has occupied that post since January of this year, earning a salary (not including perks) of $174,000. A hefty sum here in the United States, in Somalia that would be a fortune beyond the dreams of avarice.

One might think that having been rescued from the ravages of her native country, and from the tribulation and futility of a fragile existence in an overcrowded refugee camp, Omar would be singing the praises of a country that has allowed her to rise from desperate poverty to formerly undreamt of heights of success, power, fame and fortune. But apparently not.

Instead, Omar rides on the updrafts of victim politics, seeing any criticisms of her positions as personal attacks on her as a woman, a minority or a Muslim, or better yet, all three. In this case, however, standing with Nancy Pelosi at the Door of No Return in Ghana, her hypocrsy is crystal clear.

One could almost wish that in her “return to Mother Africa” the portal in question would live up to its name, and she would walk through it from West to East. Perhaps a long-term refresher on life in Africa would stir some gratitude in her heart for all advantages she has enjoyed during her time in America as an immigrant turned citizen and member of Congress.

Instead of railing at those who have spitefully chanted “Send her back!” against her, perhaps Ilhan Omar would do better to speak gratefully of the country which has “sent her forward.” Such a stance would go a long way to earning the right to be heard by fellow citizens, and to working constructively with those across the political aisle for the benefit of all Americans.

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Islamomoria — Countering the Charge of “Islamophobia”

When words are weaponized and skillfully wielded in the moral battles of a society, they can change the debate landscape in short order — a few decades at most. Witness, for example, a word freshly minted in the early 1980s, when attitudes toward homosexuality were by and large negative. Gay activists coined the term “homophobia” and applied it not only to those holding an “irrational fear” of homosexuality/homosexuals (which is what the term literally meant) but also to those opposed to the practice or lifestyle for moral, medical, sociological or theological reasons. They successfully beguiled a dull-witted society into swallowing uncritically the judgment that anyone opposed to homosexuality as an equally acceptable lifestyle as that of heterosexuality must be intolerant and bigoted, and consequently should be ostracized and shamed into silence until all opposition to the homosexual activist agenda was squelched, and indeed a negative cultural perception was transformed into a positive one.See the source image

Muslim activists in the West were quick to learn from this. In the 1990s, leaders from the Muslim Brotherhood in America and sister organizations, all committed to the ascendancy of Islam and its ultimate conquest of the USA in pursuit of a global caliphate, gathered to strategize a long-term plan for the advancement of Islam in American culture. Key to their vision was the makeover of the negative image of Islam in the West. To accomplish this the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) coined the term “Islamophobia,” and the 29 Muslim Brotherhood-related organizations began to wield it as a verbal weapon to shame and silence anyone critical of Islamic doctrine and practice.

One of the then members of the IIIT who later renounced his Islamic radicalism and left the organization, Abdur Rahman Muhammad, revealed the intent behind the coining of “Islamophobia”:

“This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics…. Islamophobia” was a term designed as a weapon to advance a totalitarian cause by stigmatizing critics and silencing them. This plan was an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood’s deceptive ‘General Strategic Goal for North America.'” [To see that document in Arabic, followed by an English translation, click here.]

“Islamophobia” has been succinctly pilloried as “a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.” (Wrongly attributed to Christopher Hitchens, who no doubt would agree with the viewpoint, it first appeared in a tweet by Andrew Cummins).  Robert Spencer, Director of JihadWatch and author of eighteen books dealing with Islam and related topics, tersely describes “Islamophobia” as “a propaganda term coined to intimidate people into thinking it wrong to oppose jihad terror.” He notes a four-fold progression by which this intimidation is meant to proceed –“stigmatize, demonize, marginalize and ultimately criminalize criticism of Islam”, to the end “that jihad terror activities can continue unimpeded and unopposed.” Indeed, Turkey’s President Erdogan has publicly declared that Islamophobia should be recognized internationally as a crime.

Sadly, it has taken less than two decades for the term “Islamophobia” to become as successful in throttling adverse views of Islam as “homophobia” has been in painting gays and lesbians as innocent victims of hatred and bigotry that now is almost universally condemned.

Muslim activists continue to proclaim that “Islam is a religion of peace,” and that those who claim otherwise are “Islamophobes.” The one huge hurdle to final success in convincing the West of their campaign is the pesky jihad imperative rooted in the Qur’an, Hadith and Sirat (early Muslim biographies of their prophet). Even though “Islam means peace” has been bleated ad nauseum by the ignorant and the duplicitous since the 9/11 attacks, over 35,000 jihadi attacks around the world since then put the lie to this fantasy claim. In order to obfuscate and distract from these harsh realities, vocal defenders of Islam quickly label any valid criticism of Islamic violence and its justification in authoritative religious texts as “Islamophobic”, hoping thereby to dismiss any further investigation into the totalitarian and supremacist vision cast by Muhammad and his “revelations”.

The successful suppression of most negative portrayals of Islam in politics, academia, interfaith dialogue and the media through the label “Islamophobic” gives credence to the old adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” What force cannot accomplish in Western society, imputed shame and guilt manage much more effectively. Fear of being called Islamophobic has caused myriads of writers, bureaucrats, reporters, professors and politicians to parse their words, ignore clear evidence, or engage in dissembling, all to evade speaking the truth about Islam and its designs on the non-Muslim world, particularly the West.

Perhaps what is needed in this rhetorical battle with those who have coined and weaponized the term “Islamophobia” is a powerful word of our own to describe them and their followers. I propose the term Islamomoria. As with phobia, the word moria comes from the Greek language. It means “foolishness/folly/dullness/stupidity” and is the root from which we get our English words “moron/moronic/sophomore/oxymoron”. 

Islamomoria, then, would describe the pollyannish assessment of Islam as a religion or worldview which ignores the jihad mandate, hatred for the disbeliever, sex slavery, inherent gender inequality, and imposition of Shari’a law upon all (including execution of homosexuals and apostates, and dhimmitude for all non-Muslims allowed to live by the global caliphate.) Those preaching or under the spell of such a misguided, positive assessment of Islam would be known as Islamomorons. Perhaps the pejorative sense inherent in this term would serve as a wake-up call to those who listen mindlessly to pseudo-scholarly Islamophiles, while at the same time shaming and silencing the latter from further propaganda. It is the perfect word to describe “useful idiots” so eager to welcome Islam into Western life without realizing they are sowing the seeds of their own society’s destruction. 

So, I commend to you the newly-minted word Islamomoria and its daughter Islamomoron when it comes to the battlefield of rhetorical ideology where “Islamophobia” is being wielded as a weapon to intimidate critics and doubters of the Islamophilic party line. It is an apt rejoinder.

Please feel free to spread this term far and wide. The more currency it receives, the weaker the charge of “Islamophobia” will be to browbeat those who know the truth into silence.

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