Fake News Headline #2: Muhammad Was a Champion of Women’s Rights!


When Western women convert to Islam, they often go “whole hog,” so to speak, by opting to cover themselves with long-sleeved, ankle length dresses and hijabs or other similar head-coverings. Many cite their newfound belief that Islam actually raises their sense of dignity and self-worth, because now (unlike when they lived in the sexually exploitative West) they are not treated as sexual objects but as equals, because their bodies are hidden from view, thereby preventing men from lusting after them.

Was Muhammad the first Arabian feminist? Does Islam deserve pride of place as the greatest religious champion of women’s rights? Let’s take a look.

There is no question that Muhammad put an end to the long-standing practice of female infanticide among his Arab followers, for whom an added female mouth to feed with no hope that the added life would in the future provide labor or income for the family loomed as a heavy burden. It was so much easier to take the newborn girl out into the desert and leave her to die quickly in the harsh elements. Muhammad’s prohibition was truly a lifesaver.

Muslim tradition also states that women are superior to men in one particular regard — as mothers they bring life into the world, and so they are worthy of exceptional honor. According to the Hadith accounts,

A man came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? So he replied: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: “Then your father.” (Bukhari, 8.73.2; see also Muslim, 2548b)

Also attributed to Muhammad is the famous saying in the Muslim world, “Paradise lies at the feet of your mother.”

Unfortunately, little else of a flattering nature is found in early Islamic sources about women and girls. They seem to exist basically for the pleasure of men.

The Qur’an declares that females are always to be under the charge of men — prior to marriage they remain under the oversight of their fathers or brothers, or other male relatives. After marriage, they are to obey their husbands in all things permitted by Islam.

“Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded….” (Qur’an 4:34)

Obedient women have certain rights: they should expect to be fed, clothed and housed. But men always have priorities over them:

“Women have such honorable rights as obligations, but their men have a degree above them…” (2:228).

The woman exists in large measure simply for the sexual pleasure of her husband:

“Your wives are as a tilth [a plowed field] unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will” (2:223).

“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses, and he spends the night angry with her, the angels will curse her until morning.’” (Bukhari, 4794).

A Muslim man can satisfy himself with up to four wives (any and all of which he can divorce with a simple declaration three times in a row — “Talaq, talaq, talaq” — in order to marry up to four more). He may marry not just Muslim women, but also those from other monotheistic faiths). A Muslim woman, on the other hand, may only marry a Muslim man, and can have no more than one husband. It is almost impossible for her to initiate a divorce, unless her husband gives her his permission, or becomes an apostate.

In addition to this, a Muslim man is able to own an unlimited number of female slaves (if he can win them through jihad or buy them on the Islamic slave market) — in the Qur’an they are known as “those whom his right hand possesses.” Muhammad and the Qur’an give men the right to force sex on these women at their leisure.

If the man fears “rebellion” from his wife, he is to take the following escalating steps, until she submits:

“…As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge [beat] them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them” (4:34).

According to the example of Muhammad (and with permission from the Qur’an), Muslim men of any age are allowed to marry and deflower little girls as young as nine. Muhammad did this with his third wife, Aisha (she was nine and the prophet was 53), and the Qur’an gives directives concerning the divorce of wives who have not yet experienced their first period (65:4)!

The Ayatollah Khomeini, who knew the inner workings of Islam better than most Muslims, counseled adult men and fathers thusly:

“A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However, he should not penetrate vaginally, but sodomizing the child is acceptable. If a man does penetrate and damage the child then, he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl will not count as one of his four permanent wives and the man will not be eligible to marry the girl’s sister… It is better for a girl to marry at such a time when she would begin menstruation at her husband’s house, rather than her father’s home. Any father marrying his daughter so young will have a permanent place in heaven” (from his book Tahrir al Wasilah).

As if this were not despicable enough, women and girls are further demeaned within orthodox Islam. Muslim law declares that a woman’s testimony carries only half the weight of a man’s testimony. Likewise, a woman can only receive half as much inheritance as her brother.

The most authoritative traditions (hadiths reported by Bukhari) concerning Muhammad’s valuation of women are rather chilling as words coming from a “prophet”:

Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri : Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer)…. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.” (Bukhari, 1.6.301)

Aisha said, “The things which annul prayer were mentioned before me (and those were): a dog, a donkey and a woman. I said, ‘You have compared us (women) to donkeys and dogs. By Allah!’ I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in (my) bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I disliked to sit and trouble the Prophet. So, I would slip away by the side of his feet.” (Bukhari, 1.9.493)

This latter tradition concerns the legitimacy of prayers to Allah if dogs, donkeys or women cross in front of the praying Muslim man (or men) within a certain distance without an appropriate barrier between them. Muhammad’s young wife, Aisha, clearly understood the import of this divine denigration to women.

Ironically, though Islam is undeniably a “man’s religion” in its homage to male supremacy, it unwittingly admits to the irresistible power that women have over men in the arena of sexual magnetism.  Women are dangerous enticements to illicit sexual activity, and men are like helpless victims when caught in the snares of the opposite sex. It is for this reason that women are hidden from view in the Islamic world. They are secreted behind walls at home, behind veils and abayas and burqas in public. They must always be accompanied by a mahram  (a male chaperone whose blood ties to the woman forbid the legal possibility that he could marry her) when around others outside the home, ostensibly to protect her but also to prevent her from working her tempting charms on vulnerable men. Women are to guard their private parts according to Sura 24:31 (men are also to guard theirs according to the prior verse). Because they, as sexual beings, are so dangerous to the male gender, Islam permits the attempt to tame their raging sexuality. Islam recommends (or even commands, according to the Shari’a manual Umdat as-Salik, e4.3) the circumcision of both men and women. For women, it is the bazr (clitoris) which is to be removed; hence, the widespread practice in some Muslim countries of clitoridectomies performed on young girls.  By this barbaric process of female genital mutilation (FGM), the Muslim community assumes it has excised not only a young woman’s future sexual enjoyment but also her capacity to become a sexual temptress, thereby protecting Muslim men from their own inabilities to control themselves.

So, all women within Muslim societies must be hidden away in the family quarters of their homes, or covered up in form-hiding clothes when out in public, and watched like hawks so they don’t trip up Muslim men. And of course, when such men do transgress and rape or sexually assault women, most naturally it is the woman’s fault, for she was the provocatrix who must have shown a bare neck or shoulder or forearm or calf muscle and so set her assailants hormones raging beyond his ability to control. He is the true victim, and she is the responsible party. Sadly, in such cases the family of the violated woman often blames her as well, and is so outraged that she has brought such shame/dishonor on the family name that to recover its social stature it engages in an “honor killing,” taking her life as a way to expunge the shame from their midst.

All of this, from Islamic scripture to Shari’a law to Muslim cultural practice is part and parcel of the religion of Islam. So the next time you hear the absurd claim that Muhammad was the greatest champion of women’s rights or the risible assertion that “true Islam” is the feminist’s best friend, please don’t remain silent. You might just prevent a starry-eyed, naive, potential convert from making perhaps the biggest mistake of her life, one which cannot be undone without much pain and the looming threat of execution.

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Fake Headline #1: Islam Is a Religion of Peace!


If mindless repetition could make something true, then Islam would truly deserve this fake certificate produced last year as a spoof. certificate-of-peaceHowever, in spite of  declarations by well-meaning actors and politicians, by luminaries and Muslim apologists, Islam is not a religion of peace,  at least not by ordinary Western definitions.bush-islam-is-peace

Some with a cursory knowledge of Arabic point out the the word “Islam” comes from the same word family as “salaam,” the common Arabic term for peace, so the two must be related. This is absolutely true. But whereas salaam means peace, islam means submission. The religion of Islam teaches that true salaam only comes by submission to Allah and his divine law, known as Shari’a. So Islam calls for all human beings to submit themselves to Allah — those who do so willingly are called Muslims (also from the same Arabic root), i.e., submitters. Those who refuse to submit voluntarily become targets for conquest or extermination. Those conquered who still do not convert are given two options: live as third class subjects (after Muslim men and Muslim women) under Shari’a law and humiliating restrictions, or be executed. Historically, most of those allowed this third class status in Muslim caliphates, known as “dhimmis,” ultimately fled to non-Muslim lands if able, or died of persecution, or converted to Islam in order to escape unrelenting oppression and enjoy instead the benefit of Muslim citizenship.

In line with this mindset, Islam still today divides the world into two “us vs. them” categories, as do all cohesive groups, but the names they give to each group are instructive. The Muslim community and the lands it governs are known as Dar al-Islam (or Dar as-Salaam), which translates as “The House/Camp of Islam/Peace.” This descriptor reflects the view that to belong to Islam is to be at peace with Allah and with all other Muslims. More interesting, however, is the expression used for the other group: Dar al-Harb, which means “House/Camp of War.” Everyone not in Dar al-Islam or under a temporary treaty with it, is necessarily a part of the Camp of War, so named because Islam is in a permanent state of war with the non-Muslim world until it submits voluntarily to Islam or is conquered and thus subjugated. Only when the whole world kneels willingly or unwillingly to Islam will there be ultimate and final peace. It is with this understanding that Muslim scholars can honestly declare that Islam is a religion of peace — it seeks the harmony of all humanity by killing or subjugating all those opposed to Allah and his perfect law.

A short perusal of the Qur’an, Hadith traditions and the earliest Islamic biography of Muhammad will show clearly that this viewpoint is not unfair to Islam as practiced by its prophet and earliest followers.

According to these sources, Muhammad in the last ten years of his life (from the time he moved to Medina and began teaching the doctrine of warfare known as jihad) ordered his followers to conduct at least 65 military campaigns against non-Muslim groups within reach of his armies, and the prophet personally led 27 of them. He boasted that he would have been at the forefront of all of them but for the concern of his followers that he might be injured or even killed, so he stayed back to allay their anxieties.

The Qur’an that Muhammad brought to the world contains 109 verses teaching on the doctrine of jihad. Over and over, the Qur’an portrays Allah as angry and vengeful toward infidels — over 500 verses convey Allah’s wrath and cruel intentions toward those who refuse to submit. Muhammad promises earthly and heavenly rewards for those who express Allah’s wrath against unbelievers through death and destruction, but he also threatens those Muslims who hang back and evade their jihadi responsibilities by calling them hypocrites and warning that they too will burn in the fires of hell if they won’t fight in Allah’s cause. Despite the claims of some, this doesn’t sound too tolerant.obama-islam-tolerance

Muhammad is viewed in Islam as the model par excellence for all Muslims to emulate so as to please Allah. His martial, supremacist attitude infects Islam with the idea it is their right to rule over the world in Allah’s name, and to plunder the infidels as a reward for serving to spread Islamic hegemony everywhere.  In the Hadith traditions (second only to the Qur’an in authority) these kinds of declarations from Muhammad are reported frequently:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: 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, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives [lit., “their blood”] and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah.” (Sahih Bukhari, 1.2.25)

Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I have been given superiority over the other prophets in six respects: I have been given words which are concise but comprehensive in meaning; I have been helped by terror (in the hearts of enemies): spoils have been made lawful to me: the earth has been made for me clean and a place of worship; I have been sent to all mankind and the line of prophets is closed with me. (Sahih Muslim,  4.1062)

Indeed, according to the Qur’an, Allah is the one who inflicts terror into the hearts of infidels, primarily through the armies of Islam’s prophet:

Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers! (3:151)

Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.” This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger: If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment. (8:12-13)

Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly): they will never frustrate (them). Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly. (8:59-60)

And Allah turned back the Unbelievers for (all) their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of Strength, able to enforce His Will. And those of the People of the Book who aided them – Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts. (So that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners. And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods, and of a land which ye had not frequented (before). And Allah has power over all things. (33:25-27)

It is He Who got out the Unbelievers among the People of the Book from their homes at the first gathering (of the forces). Little did ye think that they would get out: And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from Allah! But the (Wrath of) Allah came to them from quarters from which they little expected (it), and cast terror into their hearts, so that they destroyed their dwellings by their own hands and the hands of the Believers, take warning, then, O ye with eyes (to see)! (59:2)

One particularly bloodthirsty passage from the Qur’an comes as a rebuke to Muhammad who had been victorious in an early battle (Badr) and had taken many prisoners. He decided that rather than executing them, he would hold them for ransom and thus add to the booty collected for his troops and himself. Soon after this decision, a revelation comes from Allah:

It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise (Sura Anfal 8:67).

So much for the religion of peace….

On top of these authoritative texts commanding Muslims to fight and kill unbelievers, striking terror into the hearts of the hold-outs, the behavior of Muhammad’s leadership team after his death demonstrates their clear understanding of the warfare which they were commanded to wage against the Persian, Byzantine and Roman Empires around them. Within one hundred years, Islam had broken out of the Arabian peninsula and by use or threat of the sword had conquered lands spanning from Morocco and Spain on the west to northern India and western China on the east. This was not peaceful invitation to Islam; it was conquest of any rival to the way of the prophet.

When Muhammad died and his confidant Abu Bakr became his successor as the first caliph, the presenting issue was the abandonment of Islam by many Arab tribes which had pledged their allegiance to Muhammad (but apparently not to Islam). For over a year, Abu Bakr waged what became known as the Apostasy (ridda) Wars, killing former Muslims until their tribes returned to the fold. Once the peninsula was again securely in the grip of Islam, he then sent his armies to begin the conquest of the Persians and Byzantines. Abu Bakr only lived two years after the death of Muhammad, succumbing either to poison or illness. He and the next three caliphs (Umar, Uthman and Ali) were collectively known as the Rashidun (rightly guided caliphs). Yet over the combined 27 years of their rule, as Islam spread by the sword, each of these three rulers died as a result of murder, either at the hands of slaves or fellow Muslims. Somehow “the religion of peace” did not spread its message over Islam’s earliest followers, who knew their prophet most intimately.

Lastly, with regard to apostasy, one might expect a true religion of peace to wistfully allow those deciding to part ways with it, and bestow on them its blessing of peace. Islam shows its true colors, however, by forbidding its adherents the freedom to leave. According to the Hadith, Muhammad said about apostasy, “Whoever changes his religion [i.e., leaves Islam], kill him” (Sahih Bukhari, 9.84.57). Even today, all 8 Islamic schools of jurisprudence (4 Sunni, 4 Shi’ite) concur that the appropriate penalty for leaving Islam is execution.

One might rightly expect that if a religion promotes peace as a central feature of its worldview, its followers would be a powerful force for peace in the wider world. So if Islam really is a religion of peace, why is it the undisputed world leader in fatal (and non-fatal) terror attacks. Since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, there have been some 30,400 documented Muslim terrorist incidents around the world. No other religion comes remotely close to this. In fact, incidents involving all the other religions combined over the same time period do not come remotely close. Apologists argue that all these 30,000+ perpetrators misunderstand the religion or are motivated by mental illness rather than Islam. But that begs the question, “What is it about Islam that makes it so horrendously capable of violent misunderstanding or gives it such appeal to the mentally imbalanced?”

swords-and-bow

Swords and bow of Muhammad on display at Topkapi Palace

zulfiqar

Zulfiqar, Ali’s legendary sword, given to him by Muhammad, according to tradition.

In point of fact, such Muslims are just taking the life of Muhammad and Islamic texts at face value. They know that from the time of Islam’s birth in 622 AD at Medina Muhammad never promoted peace, only surrender, and that at the point of a sword.

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Top Ten Fake News Headlines Concerning Islam — an Introduction


Regarding Islam’s fundamental teachings and history there are many misconceptions floating around the mainstream Western media. Unfortunately, significant numbers of patrons of these news organizations have very little background on Islam and simply trust that what they are being fed is the truth. Muslim apologist groups are also actively touting these canards as a way to advance the influence of Islam in the West.fake-islamic-rights-facebook-page-inciting-hatred-2

I have selected what I consider the top ten fake news headlines about Islam, and will write blogs over the next three weeks to identify them and expose why they are not accurate assessments of classical Islam and/or its expression in history. Please stay tuned, and share these widely if you find them helpful!

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The Barbary Barbarity and Other Inconvenient Facts of History


worldleaders_islamThere is no question that since the 9/11 Muslim terrorist attack some sixteen years ago, most American politicians have parroted the fantasy line that Islam is a religion of peace, and that true democracy and true Islam can partner for a better future….

Recently, however, I have come across some quotations by American politicians which take issue with this assessment, mostly because of their awareness of larger world history. Here they are:

He [Muhammad] poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. The essence of his doctrine was violence and lust: to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature.

 

During the thousand years that included the careers of the Frankish soldier and the Polish king, the Christians of Asia and Africa proved unable to wage successful war with the Muslim conquerors; and in consequence Christianity practically vanished from the two continents; and today nobody can find in them any “social values” whatever, in the sense in which we use the words, so far as the sphere of Muslim influence. There are such “social values” today in Europe, America, and Australia only because during those thousand years the Christians of Europe possessed the warlike power to do what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do – that is, to beat back the Muslim invader.

 

In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle.

 

 

moorishambassador_to_elizabeth_i

Ambassador Adja

These future United States presidents [Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, in 1786] questioned the ambassador [Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain] as to why his (Islamic) government was so hostile to the new American republic even though America had done nothing to provoke any such animosity [the presenting issue was the unprovoked attacks by the Barbary pirates on American shipping]. Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, ‘that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Muslim who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise’.barbary

 

In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth.  Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law the doctrine of one omnipotent God, he connected indissolubly with it the audacious falsehood that he was himself his prophet and apostle.

 

Nor can the plundering of Infidels be forbidden in that sacred Book [the Quran], since it is well known from it that God has given the World, and all that it contains, to his faithful Muslims, who are to enjoy it as a right as fast as they conquer it.

 

The command to propagate the Muslim creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective… by fraud, or by force.

Such assessments by our American politicians might give us hope as to how to conduct our future affairs with the Islamic world, but for the fact that these clear-sighted leaders are long gone from the stage of history. They were written by and large by some of our Founding Fathers, with one exception — that by Teddy Roosevelt. (In a few cases, I modernized the language from that of the early 1800s). Here are the authors in order of the quotations:

  1. John Quincy Adams
  2. Teddy Roosevelt
  3. John Quincy Adams
  4. Thomas Jefferson
  5. John Quincy Adams
  6. Benjamin Franklin
  7. John Quincy Adams

Political correctness run amok has led to blindness among our present political class, but with all the evidence staring us in the face in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, perhaps the blinders are beginning to come off. One may always hope.

Once again, let me emphasize — our problems are not with individual Muslims, who may be wonderful, Christianized people, but with orthodox Islam, which is what each of the above writers addressed. The system of Islam causes chaos for the rest of the non-Muslim world. Muslims may or may not contribute to that mayhem, depending on how assiduously they cling to the teachings and behaviors of their prophet.

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Let Light Shine into the Darkness


Nine days ago (Feb. 12) the Gulzar e Madina mosque, located in a suburb of Baltimore less than 50 miles from downtown Washington, D.C., held a special celebration which it had advertised nationally to Urdu (Pakistani) readers. The celebration, known as an Urs, is a Sufi-based anniversary celebration of the death of someone who has attained saintly status. mumtaz_qadr_baltimore_mosque-1024x535

In this case, the party was being thrown in memory of a Pakistani Muslim named Mumtaz Qadri, who died Feb. 29th, 2016. More precisely, Qadri was executed by Pakistani authorities that day by hanging for the crime of murdering the governor of the Punjab province, Salman Taseer, also a Muslim, by pumping twenty-seven bullets into his back as he was walking back to his car after a lunch meeting. To add insult to injury, Qadri was a member of Pakistan’s Special Forces, assigned to Gov. Taseer’s protection detail. (For more details on this, see my blog here.)

What led to Qadri’s murderous behavior? He was upset that the governor was working to try to free a Christian woman, Aasiya Bibi, who had been falsely convicted of breaking Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws and was facing execution. In Qadri’s mind, Taseer was guilty of demeaning the prophet of Islam (whom the blasphemy laws are designed to protect), and so should die. He was judge, jury and executioner, and carried out his plans with no hesitation. In fact, two days after the assassination, he turned himself in to authorities with a smile. mumtaz-qadri

Governor Taseer’s funeral the next day attracted a few thousand people, in spite of the fact that some 500 religious leaders declared Qadri to be a hero and warned people that to honor Taseer would be to dishonor the prophet of Islam. Five years later, the day after the cowardly murderer was executed, more than 100,000 Pakistanis took to the streets to honor him as a hero and martyr for Islam. qadri funeral

So here in America, near the anniversary of this killer’s death, Mumtaz Qadri is being celebrated as a saint in this Pakistani community mosque. Honored speakers included Muhammad Ali Soharwardi, a famous Muslim singer presently on a US tour from Pakistan, Syed Saad Ali, an Islamic scholar from New Jersey, and Ijaz Hussain, an imam from Baltimore. (For a foreign news report on this, see here.)

One speaker, to justify Qadri’s act, declared:

“Whoever disrespects the Holy Prophet Muhammad is worthy of death, and even if [he] disrespects indirectly he is still worthy of death. Even if someone asks for forgiveness it is not acceptable.”

The Islamic scholar, Syed Saad Ali, was particularly motivational as he inspired guilt in his listeners:

“Warrior Mumtaz Qadri kissed the noose in love for Prophet Muhammad. When Qadri was in jail for 5 years what did we do? What effort did we make (for his release)? Why did we not go where he was being held? Qadri did everything for us, and for the love of Islam and we could not even stand by him. People say Islam teaches peace…..I say Islam teaches us Ghairat (Honor) Who will now stand up?”syed-ali

Presumably, Muslims are to rise up and kill any and all blasphemers, according to Ali. Fortunately, most Muslims in this country pay little heed to Islamic scholars like this man, though his beliefs mirror the teachings and actions of Muhammad and his early followers.

Ali made reference to another “hero,” Tanveer Ahmed, a Sunni believer presently in prison in Scotland for the murder of Asad Shah, an Ahmadi Muslim (Sunni Muslims consider the Ahmadis to be heretics). Tanveer traveled almost 250 miles from his home in Bradford, England, to confront Asad, a shopkeeper in Glasgow, Scotland. Enraged over an allegation that Asad had called himself a prophet (thus demeaning Muhammad’s status as the final prophet of Allah), Tanveer confronted Asad in his store, began to stab him repeatedly with a knife as others tried vainly to stop the attack, then dragged Asad’s inert body outside the store, “…stabbing, punching and stamping on him, shattering bones in his face.” Islamic scholar Ali was fulsome in his praise of this murderer as well:

“Our warrior Tanveer who is sitting in a jail in Scotland, I don’t know if someone knows or not, when that Mirzai [i.e., the Ahmadi Asad Shah] spoke his ‘sacrilegious rubbish’ he went there and stabbed him 27 times and the police arrested him and right now he is in a jail in Scotland. So if we just take a step forward, angels will automatically come for our help. But what Mumtaz Qadri has done is something amazing, he has surpassed all these warriors.”

So the message from Syed Saad Ali is that Tanveer Ahmed is a hero of Islam, but that Mumtaz Qadri is a lion of the faith for taking down a major target. And now, if only those listening to him will step forth after the example of these two, the angels of Allah will immediately fly to their aid in killing blasphemers!

Not to be left out, Imam Ijaz Hussain from Baltimore chimed in his professional opinion:

“Mumtaz Qadri was not a terrorist, and whoever says ‘We are with you, O Prophet’ cannot be a terrorist.” ijaz_hussain_baltimore-295x300

How reassuring, from the leader of one of America’s Sufi Muslim communities.

I got to thinking about what might be a parallel situation here in the United States among Christian groups, and came up with this hypothetical scenario:

Suppose a white supremacist “Christian” group, who hated everything Martin Luther King, Jr., stood for, decided to hold a celebration on April 23rd this year to mark the 19th year anniversary of the death of James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of America’s great civil rights leader of the 1960s. They publicize the event widely across the country using white supremacist media outlets, and on the day of the event they celebrate James Earl Ray as an American hero, even more as a sainted man who carried out God’s will at the end of a rifle. Would we not rightly be repulsed, horrified, angered by such a travesty? Would we not be motivated to do something about such blindness and celebration of evil? Would we not want our fellow citizens to know of such a cancer in our midst? I would hope so.

To my knowledge, no such event has ever taken place, nor by God’s justice, will one ever happen. But, the February 12th Urs honoring Mumtaz Qadri actually did take place, less than 50 miles from the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court, and our leaders remain ignorant, our mainstream media apparently couldn’t be bothered to research and report on this, and the American Muslim community sits silent — where is the condemnation of CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, IIIT, and the Fiqh Council of North America? Where is the Southern Poverty Law Center, so committed as they are to the extermination of hate and the teaching of tolerance — or does that only apply to conservative Americans?

It’s well past time to shine the light of clarity into the dark corners of Islamic teaching and behavior that condones the hatred and intolerance of non-Muslims simply because they reject the claim of Muhammad as a true prophet and will not bow down before Islam’s supremacist claims. The celebration of vigilante killers, and the exhortation to imitate them, should have no place in America, or anyplace else for that matter. But let us tend to our own house, and pray that the rest of the world will do likewise.

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The Muslim Immigration Conundrum


In the Fall of 1982, people started dying in Illinois after consuming Tylenol capsules which had been poisoned with cyanide. Panic quickly ensued as no one was certain whether their pain-reliever was safe. Within one week of the first death, Johnson & Johnson (the makers of Tylenol products) had suspended advertising and production and had issued a nationwide recall of all Tylenol products. After discovering that the perpetrator had tampered with bottles taken from stores and later replaced, Johnson & Johnson resumed production, developing in time the use of solid caplets rather than capsules. The criminal was never caught.Foil Safety Seal on Tylenol Bottle

One result of this act of pharmaceutical terrorism was that the food, drug and consumer product industries began to devise the tamper-proof seals and packaging we are so familiar with today, and the problem of “product terrorism” has receded from consumer consciousness.

The analogies between the “Tylenol scare” and terrorism through immigration are not difficult to discern. Our present problem in America pits the call to compassion against the need for security. We want to assist refugees in resettling here in the land of opportunity and freedom, but we don’t want to allow in those who, under the guise of refugee status, wish to do us harm. How do we solve this conundrum?

First, some definitions: An immigrant is one who seeks to leave his homeland (for any of a number of reasons) and resettle in the USA (whether legally or illegally); a refugee is one displaced from his country of origin who fears persecution due to “… race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.” One seeking asylum faces the same legitimate fears but has already made it to US shores (whether legally or not) and applies for legal status so as not to be deported back into harm’s way.

The number of legal immigrants obtaining permanent resident status in the USA has averaged roughly one million per year since 2003. In 2015, it was 1,051,031. Again, since 2003 the number of refugees resettled here yearly has averaged roughly 58,000 from all over the world (the actual ceiling is determined annually by the President). In 2015, the actual number was 69,933 (with a ceiling of 70,000; for 2016, President Trump has set the ceiling at 50,000). The total number of those granted asylum has averaged about 25,000 per year since 2003. In 2015, the total was 26,124. Of these, roughly one-fourth were from China.2015-immigration-stats

As anyone can see, we are not working with astronomical numbers. Less than 100,000 people enter the USA as refugees and asylees annually. That seems reasonable. On the other hand, if only one tenth of one percent of that number had terrorist intentions (100 or less) and they coordinated their efforts successfully, this nation would be paralyzed.

Why should we be concerned about terrorists entering through the refugee population? Primarily because ISIS, al-Qaeda and other Muslim terrorist groups have publicly declared their intention to infect the teeming refugee populations from the Muslim world with their sleeper agents, and have succeeded at this already in Europe. The ten terrorists who carried out the Paris Bataclan and Brussels attacks in the last 16 months, killing 215 people and wounding many more, had entered Europe legally as “refugees” through the Balkans. Since then, there have been numerous attacks and attempts in other parts of Europe by so-called refugees. Are we confident enough to believe that the USA is immune because of our “careful” vetting process?

Our intelligence agencies’ leaders have already declared their considered opinion that there is no way to guarantee that potential terrorists do not slip through the vetting process. tashfeenTashfeen Malik, the Pakistani-born San Bernardino co-terrorist who along with her husband murdered fourteen people at a Christmas party, had been vetted and passed by five different US intelligence agencies. According to a report issued in June 2016 by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, 580 individuals have been convicted in the US of terror-related crimes since 9/11. Of those, 380 are foreign-born nationals. Interestingly, 72 of that number hail from the seven countries listed on the “Trump ban” executive order of January 27th. There is no question that the large majority of those convicted link themselves to Islam.

So, in terms of immigration concerns, it seems that a greater threat is posed to America from Muslim immigration than from non-Muslim immigration. Yet on the other hand, only a tiny percentage of Muslim immigrants are involved in terror-related activities. On top of that, our laws and values prohibit our government from using a “religious test” on those seeking to immigrate here.

President Trump is seeking a way around this by arguing that his administration is seeking to halt immigration from countries that have been hotbeds of terrorism and that lack the normal infrastructure needed for accurate vetting (due in large measure to civil wars or other internal strife). trump-eo“It has nothing to do with religion. There is no ban on Muslims.” Supporters of this note that the total populations affected comprise maybe 15% of all Muslims, meaning that 85% of the Muslim world is welcome to apply for immigration. You see, obviously there is no religious test going on.

But this is a smokescreen. There is a religious test, and it involves believers in Islam, not members of any other religious group. Why? Because Islam is not like any other religious group. It contains not only personal rules of piety, but also a totalitarian political agenda which must be obeyed. Its intention, going back to Muhammad and his earliest followers, is not only to make individuals submit their lives to Allah but all nations as well. The world one day must live willingly or by force under the rule of Shari’a – Allah’s perfect law for humanity. Every Muslim is to yearn for and work for this ultimate goal – otherwise, he/she is not a good Muslim by orthodox standards.

When our founding fathers made the freedom of religion one of this nation’s key rights, they had no notion that the religio-political animal we know as Islam would ever wish to become a claimant. What would they say of a totalitarian religion which says, “We not only want the right to practice our religion freely in your country, but to work secretly or openly for the overthrow of your Constitution so as to make Islam the religion of America and Shari’a Law its unalterable, new constitution.” Never before has America faced a totalitarian ideology clothed in religious garb. This is what makes vetting potential Muslim immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers so difficult.

The problem is this: if every Muslim believed wholeheartedly in the totalitarian agenda of Islam, then it would be prudent for the USA to ban all Muslims from living in this country; but most Muslims coming to the West want little or nothing to do with jihadism, which is the primary way to spread the hegemony of Islamic rule. How then do we vet Muslims accurately so as to know where they stand?

There is no question the United States of America has every right to accept or reject any applicant for immigration, as do all other countries. No non-citizen of the USA has the right to demand entrance to this country. As a nation, our federal government is tasked with protecting the welfare of its citizens and defending its existence against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Immigration is a matter of grace, not of rights, and so when our officials determine that a particular individual or group pose a potential threat, they are right to impose a temporary moratorium or a permanent ban unless and until the threat disappears.

In the last century, our way of life faced two threats from totalitarian movements. How we responded was instructive. The first was the Nazi-Japanese threat of WWII. After being attacked at Pearl Harbor, we were thrust into a war we had tried to avoid. As we battled in the Pacific and in Europe, at home we faced the question as to what to do with immigration from the lands of the enemies. The flow of people from Germany and Japan slowed to a standstill, and rightly so. Fear and suspicion even led to the creation of internment camps for those of Japanese descent (whether American citizens or not) both to prevent them from possibly aiding and abetting the enemy, and to protect them from self-styled vigilantes in our midst. After the defeat of the Nazis and the Japanese Empire, with the schemes of these totalitarian movements lying in ashes, our country began to lift its immigration restrictions and accept Japanese and German applicants free from these defunct dreams.

The second, of course, was communism. As a philosophy and form of government it was antithetical to our American system and values. When it came to the question of allowing self-declared communists to immigrate to this country, the answer was clearly no. Could a Russian, Chinese or Cuban person settle in America? Certainly, but only as a refugee fleeing the Communist regimes, or by proving that he/she rejected communism and embraced our democracy.

Nazism and communism are by and large now discredited movements found principally in history books. But another totalitarianism has been regaining strength after lying dormant since the rise of the Enlightenment and Industrialist West. totalitarian-flagsIt is the movement of core Islam – the 5 religious pillars of personal piety wedded together with the sixth pillar, that of jihad. Its goal is to regain its past glory as a continent-spanning Caliphate, and to springboard to the ideological and political/military conquest of the rest of the world. This is not the self-styled dream of some group of wild-eyed radical fanatics, but rather the vision which springs from the pages of the Qur’an, the Hadith traditions and the earliest Sira (Islamic biographies) of the life of Muhammad. This world view is hardwired into the authoritative, religious texts of Islam. Whether a given Muslim accepts these supremacist teachings or not is a different matter altogether, but there is no question that these imperatives are an inherent part of the religion as a matter of record.

So when it comes to vetting members of a totalitarian religious ideology, how should our government proceed, given that we wish to protect the right of religious freedom? I believe that like Nazism and communism, the ideology of Islam in its aspirations of conquest is a danger to the ongoing existence of the United States. If there were a precise way to separate the private religious practices of Islam from its totalitarian political agenda, and we could clearly discern those who are Muslims in religious practice only from those who embrace the conquest agenda of core Islam, then it would be easy to vet Muslim immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. But such is not the case.

The waters are muddied even further by the teaching attributed to Muhammad which permits a Muslim to mislead non-Muslims as to his identity when the truth would put his life and/or the cause of Islam in danger (for more on five types of deception allowed by Muslim law, see here).

So in the midst of an immigration interview, a jihadi Muslim can with good conscience provide false documentation and deny any jihadi leanings in response to questions. It is up to the interviewer and the immigration system to catch him in his lies. As we have seen, our bureaucracy is not too skilled in this department.

Hence we are left with bumbling attempts to safeguard our nation from the latest and most insidious form of totalitarianism, one which unlike Nazism and communism wraps itself in the protected garb of religion. President Trump’s executive order really is a covert attempt to ban Islam (“all Muslims”) from our shores, but he can’t do that openly for it would scream of “unacceptable (to the ignorant)” religious discrimination. wheelSo his administration crafts a relatively limited moratorium on immigration of any kind from seven Muslim nations which are singled out not for being Muslim (though that’s the real reason) but for being “terror-prone.” Interestingly, the order requires the Directors of Homeland Security and State to submit a list of other countries recommended for inclusion with the seven “banned nations,” and allows additions by the President to this list at any time in the future. One wonders what will be the common factor linking the future list-members….

Though this executive order has been “stayed” by the courts, the administration is working on a “new and improved version” to be unveiled sometime this week. It will meet the same strong headwinds from the liberal establishment and from First Amendment supporters who believe that Islam is “just like any other religion.” Until our vetting process is able to distinguish between “peaceful Muslims who renounce jihad” and “peaceful-appearing Muslims who embrace jihad” (which may in the end be a fool’s errand), we will continue to fight amongst ourselves as to the right approach to Muslim immigration. Perhaps the only thing to settle the debate will be when one or more vetted Muslim immigrants succeeds in another 9/11-scale terror attack. I hope this does not happen. But if ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other core Muslim groups have their way, it will. It is only a matter of time and opportunity.

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Religious Savagery Must Not Go Unchecked!


News of the recent heinous attack on a Muslim house of worship in Quebec City, Canada, was reported around the world. The perpetrator has been arrested and charged with five counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder. As yet, nothing about Alexandre Bissonnette’s motives has been released to the public. It’s a bit surprising that he has not  been charged with any terrorism-related crimes at this point, but there is much to which the public is not privy for now. What we do know is that hundreds of lives are now shrouded with grief and anger over this hateful attack. Our prayers are important — may God grant the families and friends of the victims comfort and peace.

Unfortunately, this attack is not the only violence against worshipers in the month of January. About two weeks ago, in a largely Muslim community, another house of worship was attacked during evening prayers, this time by a mob of about 90. They broke into the building, cornered roughly half the worshipers who had not been able to escape and locked them in the hall. After beating them with clubs and sticks, they separated the men and the women, tying up the men and raping fifteen women. Some of the assailants stayed outside to catch any escapees, so as to beat the males and rape the females. After sating their hatred toward the worshipers, the mob capped off the evening by destroying much of the property inside the house of prayer.

The prayer leader was a particular target of the mob, but he escaped with eight others and hasn’t been heard from since. That silence suggests that he was later tracked down by the attackers and either kidnapped or executed.

What motivated this mob to cause so much pain and destruction to the lives of innocent people?  We have a pretty good idea since they were “breathing threats and murder” against the objects of their terror.

In case you don’t already know, this attack occurred in Eastern Uganda. The mob was composed of Muslim men, the house of worship was the Katira Church in Budaka District, and the victims were members of that church gathered in prayer around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 15th. The attackers apparently wanted revenge, believing that the pastor was behind the conversion of a number of Muslims to the Christian faith. Some were shouting, “Away with the pastor!” “Away with the pastor who is converting our Muslims to Christianity!” They also wanted to humiliate their enemies, engaging in the rape of helpless women while the bound and beaten men looked on, powerless to rescue them. The attackers finally fled when police arrived two hours after the violence began. A few days later, leaflets surfaced with further accusations against the pastor linked to warnings of future reprisals. There is no indication to date that any arrests have been made by the authorities.uganda-pastor

The next day, members of the church gathered and planned to destroy the village mosque in retaliation, and to show that “they were not cowards.” But another local pastor convinced them that Christ called them to adopt an attitude of forgiveness, and so they relented.

If you hadn’t heard this story in the news, I’m not surprised. The media don’t seem particularly interested in accounts of Muslim attacks on Christians, perhaps because there are so many of them and it has come to be expected. On the other hand, if a Muslim is attacked by a Westerner (whether Christian or secular) or a mosque is assaulted in some way, that garners major media attention. Recently in Victoria, TX, a small mosque burned down, and news of the tragedy spread widely. Authorities are investigating, and rightly so, whether this was an accident or an act of arson. In the meantime, a GoFundMe page created to help rebuild this mosque has raised $1,085,357 in five days. What a wonderful sign of generosity! But did you know that in the last 13 years over 900 churches in Nigeria have been destroyed by Boko Haram and other Muslim extremists? News hasn’t spread much about this, and no GoFundMe pages have raised any money.

You may remember that Boko Haram did make the news back in 2014 when they kidnapped some 276 girls from a predominantly Christian school and planned to use them for ransom, for marriage or for sex slavery. The fact that these girls were primarily Christian and were being forced to convert to Islam was not all that important in the eyes of the American media. But what got our attention was that they were helpless pawns in the hands of barbaric killers. Many of our politicians and actors show their support for a short time for the release of these girls. You may remember the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. michelle-obama-bring-back-our-girls-jpgellen-deThat was about 1000 days ago. Presently, 219 of the original 276 are still unaccounted for, and our political and Hollywood promises have faded into the woodwork. We Americans have such short attention spans. When a cause is no longer popular, we kick it to the curb unceremoniously so we can march at the forefront of the next cresting crusade.

Your may recall (if you read the media fine print) that in the week after the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations were put down on Aug. 14, 2013, forty-two churches were destroyed or attacked throughout the country. Many more have been destroyed since (most recently St. Peter’s Cathedral in Cairo was decimated by a bomb attack, killing 25 and injuring another 49).Facts such as these barely scratch the surface of what is happening around the world concerning religious savagery.

It should come as no surprise that followers of Jesus Christ are by far the largest target worldwide for violent persecution. One of the major sources for that is the Muslim community. Hiding from or ignoring that fact will not make it go away. If the leaders of the Muslim world are not willing to confront this ugly truth in their own religion, then the rest of the world will need to so as to protect itself.coptic-nun

The end of 2016 saw the attainment of a dubious milestone in world affairs: since the 9/11 al-Qaeda strike on America, there have been over 30,000 documented deadly Muslim terrorist attacks around the world (as of today that number stands at 30,227). A liberal estimate of terrorist attacks committed in the name of all the other major religions combined over the same period might approach 100. What is it about the religion of Islam that leads so many of its adherents (comparatively speaking) to believe that violence in the cause of Allah is mandated against all infidels? Unfortunately, jihadi teaching is firmly rooted in the Qur’an, in the Hadith traditions and in the Sira (biography) of Muhammad, who is the model par excellence for how all observant Muslims are supposed to live. It is not radical, or extremist, or twisted Islam which calls for violence against those who will not lie down like sheep before its supremacist claims — it is orthodox Islam that prescribes violence, even terror, as weapons to advance the cause of Islam until it controls the world.

We in the secular West must work hard to police ourselves so as to rein in the hatred and desire for retaliation against Muslims that many feel upon seeing or experiencing jihadi terror unleashed in our midst. Attacks on Muslims and mosques should never happen in a society which believes in the freedom of religion and the vision of our society as a true melting pot. Even more for Christians, we must demonstrate proactive love and the capacity to think the best of others, as well as to forgive when wronged. But we must not be under any illusion as to what the religion of Islam stands for, whether the Muslims we know embrace it fully or not, and we must prepare accordingly. Muhammad’s Islam, enshrined in Shari’a, is no friend of Western democracy.

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