Archive for the ‘Raymond Ibrahim’ Category
The Return of Al Qaeda and Jihad
With the ousting of Muhammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, al-Qaeda has been vindicated and the terror-jihad exonerated, in the opinion of many Islamists, that is.
Ayman Zawahiri: “Told you so.”
According to the Associated Press, in a new video, al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri “said the military coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi provides proof that Islamic rule cannot be established through democracy and urged the Islamist leader’s followers to abandon the ballot box in favor of armed resistance [i.e., jihad].”
In fact, in the Arabic video, Zawahiri gloats over two points that he has championed for decades despite widespread opposition: that the Brotherhood was foolish to engage in democracy and elections in the first place, and that the triumph of Islam can only be achieved through jihad.
Interestingly, these two points go back to a long but internal debate between nonviolent Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood, and violent jihadis, like al-Qaeda. While both groups pursue the same exact goals—a Sharia-ruling caliphate followed by the subjugation of the “infidel” world, according to Islamic teachings—they follow different strategies. The Brotherhood has long argued that, because the Islamic world is militarily weaker than the West, now is not the time for an all-out jihad, but rather a time for infiltration and subversion, a time for taqiyya and short-lived promises. Conversely, jihadis generally disavow pretense and diplomacy, opting for jihad alone.
Since the 1960s in Egypt, Ayman Zawahiri was an outspoken proponent of jihad (see “Ayman Zawahiri and Egypt: A Trip Through Time for a brief biography). In the early 1990s, he wrote an entire book titled Al Hissad Al Murr, or “The Bitter Harvest,” where he argued that the Brotherhood “takes advantage of the Muslim youths’ fervor by bringing them into the fold only to store them in a refrigerator. Then, they steer their onetime passionate, Islamic zeal for jihad to conferences and elections…. And not only have the Brothers been idle from fulfilling their duty of fighting to the death, but they have gone as far as to describe the infidel governments as legitimate, and have joined ranks with them in the ignorant style of governing, that is, democracies, elections, and parliaments.”
Even so, after the terror strikes of 9/11, many became critical of al-Qaeda, whose actions were seen as setting back the Islamist agenda by creating more scrutiny and awareness in the West. The attacks further set off the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and gave many Arab governments—including former President Mubarak’s—free reign to suppress all Islamists. As Montasser al-Zayyat, Zawahiri’s biographer, wrote:
The poorly conceived decision to launch the attacks of September 11 created many victims of a war of which they did not choose to be a part…. Bin Laden and Zawahiri’s behavior was met with a lot of criticism from many Islamists in Egypt and abroad…. In the post-September 11 world, no countries can afford to be accused of harboring the enemies of the United States. No one ever imagined that a Western European country would extradite Islamists who live on its lands. Before that, Islamists had always thought that arriving in a European city and applying for political asylum was enough to acquire permanent resident status. After September 11, 2001, everything changed…. Even the Muslim Brotherhood was affected by the American campaign, which targeted everything Islamic.
If the West “targeted everything Islamic,” that was obviously short lived; for, from a different perspective, the post 9/11 world has proven to be the heyday of the Muslim Brotherhood. For starters, many Islamists began to see the wisdom of the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy of publicly renouncing violence (jihad) and appropriating Western language and paradigms in an effort to infiltrate and subvert.
And it certainly worked: the Brotherhood got what they wanted; their strategy of opting for elections and renouncing jihad, coupled with a highly sympathetic Obama administration, culminated with the Brotherhood leaving Egypt’s prisons and filling the highest posts of government, beginning with the presidency.
However, now that the Brotherhood and Morsi have been ousted, the jihadis—chief among them Zawahiri, leader of al-Qaeda—are in full “we told you so” mode, renewing the argument that Islamic Sharia can never be established through infidel democracy, but rather only through jihad, long recognized as the only way to force people—including Muslims themselves—to comply with Allah’s rule on earth. And it’s becoming harder for nonviolent Islamists to argue otherwise, especially the now disgraced Brotherhood.
Thus, among an increasing number of Islamists, al-Qaeda’s strategy—jihad and terror—has been justified and may well return in full force. Indeed, it’s in this context that one must understand recent news that the U.S. “ordered the unprecedented closure of embassies in 19 countries across the Middle East and Africa,” a decision sparked by Ayman Zawahiri’s recent communiques.
No doubt Western apologists will now argue that it’s in the West’s interest to support and make concessions to the Muslim Brotherhood, since the alternative will be a renewal in jihadi terror. However, aside from the fact that such an argument is tantamount to submitting to blackmail—or that the resumption of jihad is just another reminder that al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood are two faces of the same coin—is it not better to get the ugly truth out in the open now, while the U.S. still has some power and influence, rather than later, when it will likely be even more infiltrated and handicapped?
Al Qaeda Flag Flies High Above Christian Churches
Days ago, al-Qaeda’s Egyptian leader, Ayman Zawahiri, portrayed the overthrow of Muhammad Morsi and the Brotherhood as a “Crusader” campaign led by Coptic Pope Tawadros II who, according to Zawahiri and other terrorists, is trying to create a Coptic state in Egypt.
Since then, not only are Egypt’s Christians and churches now being attacked in ways unprecedented in the modern era, but new reports indicate that al-Qaeda’s black flag has been raised on some of them, specifically St. George Church in Sohag. Considering that it was al-Qaeda linked terrorists who initiated one of the bloodiest church attacks in recent history, the 2010 Baghdad church attack where nearly 60 Christians were slaughtered (click here for graphic images), that al-Qaeda is singling out Egypt’s Christians bodes ill.
The Islamic terrorist organization’s incitements against the Copts are just the latest to emanate from Islamists—from the top of the Brotherhood leadership to the bottom of the “Muslim street”—creating something of an “open season” on Egypt’s Christians.
Days after the overthrow of Morsi, the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Badie, was first to attack by name Coptic Pope Tawadros for supporting the popular June 30 Revolution, which saw tens of millions of Egyptians take to the streets. After Badie’s demonization of the Copts, assaults on Christians began in earnest. Many churches were attacked and burned and several Christians were murdered in Upper Egypt; over in the Sinai, a young Coptic priest was shot dead, while the body of Magdy Lam‘i Habib, a Christian, was found mutilated and beheaded. Due to the many death threats to Pope Tawadros, he has left the papal residence at the St. Mark Cathedral—which was earlier savagely attacked, when Morsi was still president.
This anti-Christian fury is far from sated and has taken on genocidal proportions. While Al Jazeera was covering (and distorting) events in Egypt, a Libyan man named Tamar Rashad called in and said “I want to offer the good news to [Pope] Tawadros that, Allah willing, the day is coming when no Copt will ever again tread the ground of Egypt—and no churches. We will no longer allow churches to exist.” When the TV host appeared to protest, Rashad interrupted him saying, “It’s already decided, take your cameras and go to the churches and you’ll see what’s going to happen soon, Allah willing.”
To make matters worse, Sheikh Yusif al-Qaradawi, one of the Islamic world’s leading preachers and spiritual father of the Muslim Brotherhood, has given his formal stamp of approval to persecute Copts, recently posting a video saying that “Christians” and others “were recruited [by Egypt’s military] to kill innocent Muslims.”
As expected, all these incitements against the Copts issued by several top Islamist leaders have so upped anti-Copt sentiment that it has become difficult in the last few days to keep up with the attacks on them—so many and nonstop are the reports emanating from Egypt. All throughout Upper Egypt—in Minya, Asyut, Sohag—Christians and their churches are under attack; dozens of Coptic homes and businesses have been set on fire. Due to the risk to Christian lives, many churches are no longer holding regular worship services.
The situation has gotten so dire that Ibrahim Eissa, a popular Egyptian journalist and TV personality, apparently unable to keep silent over the plight of the Copts, recently said on live TV: “The Christians have suffered in Egypt, over the course of 2 ½ years. Their churches have been burned, their children killed. The Maspero Massacre occurred, where several Copts were slain. Catastrophic fatwas appeared, calling them infidels and inciting against them…. No one has suffered as much as they. Today, if any Christian attempts to join a protest, he does so at the risk of defying dozens of fatwas calling for his death and decapitation and the burning of churches, especially in Upper Egypt.”
Beheaded in Sinai for being Christian: remains of Magdy Lam‘i Habib
With the ouster of Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s Islamists have finally gotten the pretext they need to cleanse the nation of its Christian minority, the Copt’s—ironically, Egypt’s most native sons.
The unprecedented hate currently being visited on them is fueled by Islam’s “How Dare You?” phenomenon: As conquered non-Muslims, Christians must live as dhimmis, that is, according to traditional Islamic teaching, barely tolerated “infidels” who must be humble and submissive—to the point that they are not permitted to raise their hands to Muslims even when attacked.
Far from assuming their “proper place,” Egypt’s Christians supported the June 30 Revolution against the will and threats of the Brotherhood. Thus, to Egypt’s disenfranchised and bitter Brotherhood and its supporters, Egypt’s Christians, beginning with their pope, are all now free game.
On The Wrong Side of History
As Obama pivots in the wind, a new moral leadership rises to defend the powerless
By Ralph H. Sidway
In perhaps the most significant reversal of political and global alignment since the overthrow of Christian Russia by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Barack Hussein Obama has transformed the United States of America from a Christian-centric, Western democratic republic, into an Islamist-enabling oligarchy drowning in Soviet-style scandals, casting a long, dark shadow across hundreds of millions of innocent victims the world over.
Other outlets are ably covering the Obama administration’s numerous domestic scandals (Benghazi, IRS, NSA, etc.), but the unifying theme seems to be government control over every aspect of life, with rapid erosion of personal and religious liberty.
In the geo-political sphere, we can quickly survey what has been repeatedly documented here at this site concerning Obama’s determined support for the Muslim Brotherhood from the very beginning of his first term, through to the Administration’s blatant interference on behalf of the MBprior to the June 30 protests leading to Morsi’s ouster.
The Copts (joined by pro-secular forces) in Egypt have utterly rejected Obama and U.S. Ambassador Patterson due to their support for the Muslim Brotherhood, with an unprecedented grass roots movement now calling for the removal of Patterson.
Even more dramatically, in the July 26 demonstrations in support of the Egyptian Military, protesters called not only for the exit of Obama and the United States, but for a re-alignment with Russia.
July 26 Tahrir Square Protest Sign shows huge image of Putin with “Bye Bye America” caption.
“Obama Out — Putin In” and “Bye-Bye America” are the chants and placards this time around, as Obama’s foreign policy chickens come home to roost (as his firebrand pastor Jeremiah Wright might put it).
In spite of the waves of attacks and murders of Christians by Muslim Brotherhood thugs, since the June 30 demonstrations the Copts seem to hold cautious hope for a renewed secularist dynamic, as the Military holds firm, even as both sides in Egypt reject Obama and the U.S.
In Syria, the unique tapestry of Christian confessions have become completely exasperated by U.S. support of the jihadi rebels, a Syrian Christian delegation pleading in Congressional testimony, “Why is America at war with us?”
In spite of their testimony, GOP senators led by John McCain (but vigorously opposed by Rand Paul) have cast their lot with Obama, thinking that supporting Islamic extremists serves the greater good.
Once again, Putin’s name — and his voice — rises above the mediocrity of amoral U.S. leadership. Referring to the viral video of a Syrian rebel leader cutting out and eating the heart of a slain enemy combatant, Putin slammed Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, for desiring to support terrorists, stating, “One should hardly back those who kill enemies and eat their organs.”
In the Syria debate, Putin has seized upon something Obama has either forgotten or simply isn’t wired to comprehend: the moral responsibility of the Great Powers to protect those least able to defend themselves. Pumping arms to the Syrian jihadis benefits no one, and only puts defenseless Christians in the crosshairs.
Yet as is clear, Obama has picked his horse in the Syria race. Thus, per his 2012 campaign slogan, Obama pushes “forward.” Forward, with what Raymond Ibrahim has identified as a “proxy war on Mideast Christians.”
Such is the geo-political and moral collapse of the United States. Once the “shining city on a hill,” Obama’s America has lost its luster, and has left a vacuum in international human rights leadership. A vacuum which seems about to be filled by a reinvigorated and suddenly immensely relevant Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill (AFP Photo / Aleksey Nikolsky)
In the midst of celebrations in Moscow commemorating the 1025th anniversary of Russia’s baptism into Orthodox Christianity, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the international community to resist repressions against Christians. With Patriarch Kyrill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, at his side, Putin deftly shifted the narrative away from the Syrian civil war itself, to the larger issue of the human cost of conflicts around the globe. Per a July 25 report in Russia Today:
The rights of religious minorities, including Christians, are being infringed all over the planet and humanity must take measures to stop such instances, Vladimir Putin said at the meeting with Orthodox Christian leaders in Moscow.
“In many of the World’s regions, especially in the Middle East and in North Africa inter-confessional tensions are mounting and the rights of religious minorities are infringed, including Christians and Orthodox Christians,” the Russian President noted, adding that such conflicts could lead to the most serious consequences.
Putin called for immediate measures to prevent such situations.
He added that Russia has tremendous experience in reaching and maintaining inter-confessional peace and accord, and is ready to share it.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill said at the same meeting that the attempts to push Christians out of Syria would lead to a “civilization catastrophe”. The patriarch noted that Syria was the birthplace of Christianity and the fact that believers get killed and purged in the course of the military conflict was a tragedy for Orthodox Churches, international culture and for everyday people.
Putin was meeting the heads of the delegations from all 15 Orthodox Churches who arrived in Moscow to take part in the celebrations dedicated to the 1,025th anniversary of the “Baptism of Russia” – the official adoption of Christianity in Kievan Rus by Prince Vladimir in 988AD.
The 15 Orthodox Churches jointly unite over 225 million of believers.
This event, ignored by the U.S. media, seems to have been something of a launch platform for Russia’s new role in global Christian and human rights leadership.
Of special significance is the unique and robust dynamic between the Russian Republic and the Moscow Patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church has been experiencing an ongoing resurrection since the fall of communism in 1991, firming up her stance and her resources especially during the last several years to where she can functionally serve as leader of the world’s second largest Christian communion. One of the Russian Church’s leading clerics affirmed as much in a recent statement.
It is no secret in Russia that Putin and Medvedev and other leaders have embraced anew their Orthodox Christian roots, the result being a rare flourishing of “symphonia,” the harmonious cooperation of Church and State which was the elusive goal behind the thousand-year Byzantine Christian Empire.
Imperial Russia had long seen herself as inheritor of Byzantium’s crown, and protector of Orthodox Christians. It would seem that in Russia’s re-imagining of her role in the 21st century, she has expanded her mandate to include all indigenous Christians in the Middle East and throughout the world. At this point in time, she alone seems to possess the clarity of moral vision, the political and economic (and yes, military) strength, and the force of will, to assume the role of mediator, defender and protector of traditional Christians, especially those in the Islamic world.
The Pope of Rome has a voice, but no power. The United States under Barack Obama has a voice with power, but no moral clarity nor right to lead. This new Russia — Church and State in symphony — seems poised to step into the vacuum which Obama has created through his Islamocentric, anti-Christian, amoral foreign policy.
As Obama pivots in the wind, having squandered the last of the globe’s good will towards America, he finds himself — and the U.S. — on the wrong side of history, supporting oppressive forms of government both at home and abroad. In the most stunning reversal since the Bolshevik revolution, it is now Russia who has right on her side, and to whom the world’s persecuted Christians have already begun to look with hope.
Time will tell, but perhaps it is Russia which is now the shining city on the hill.
Ralph Sidway is an Orthodox Christian researcher and writer, and author of Facing Islam: What the Ancient Church has to say about the Religion of Muhammad. He operates the Facing Islam blog.
CBN News Contributor, Middle East and Islam Expert
In 2012 in Pakistan, as Christian children were singing carols inside their church, Muslim men from a nearby mosque barged in with an axe, destroyed the furniture, desecrated the altar, and beat the children. Their justification for such violence? "You are disturbing our prayers…. How dare you use the mike and speakers?"
Welcome to the true face of "Muslim grievance"-what I call the "how dare you?!" phenomenon. Remember it next time "progressive" media and politicians tell you that Muslim terrorism-whether the 9/11 strikes, Fort Hood Massacre, Boston Bombing, or recent London Beheading-are products ofgrievances against the West. Missing from their analyses is the supremacist nature of Muslim grievances.
The Conditions of Omar, a foundational medieval Muslim text, mandates this sense of superiority over non-Muslims. Among other stipulations, the Conditions commands conquered Christians not to raise their "voices during prayer or readings in churches anywhere near Muslims" (hence the axe-attack in Pakistan). It also commands them not to display any signs of Christianity-specifically Bibles and crosses-not to build churches, and not to criticize the prophet.
If the supremacist nature of Islamic law is still not clear enough, the Conditions literally command Christians to give up their seats to Muslims on demand.
By analogy, consider when black Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to white passengers in a white supremacist environment. Sincere grievances arose: how dare she think herself our equal?
But were such grievances legitimate? Should they have been accommodated?
In my new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, I document hundreds of attacks on Christians. In most cases, the Muslim attackers are truly aggrieved.
For example, in 2007 in Turkey, a publishing house distributing Bibles was stormed and three of its Christian employees tortured, disemboweled, and finally murdered. One suspect later said: "We didn’t do this for ourselves, but for our religion [Islam]…. Our religion is being destroyed."
Similarly, in 2011 in Egypt, after a 17-year-old Christian student refused to obey his Muslim teacher’s orders to cover up his cross, the teacher and some Muslim students attacked, beat, and ultimately murdered the Christian teenager.
These Turkish and Egyptian murderers were truly aggrieved: the Conditions clearly state that Christians must not "produce a cross or Bible" around Muslims. How dare the Egyptian student and Turkish Bible publishers refuse to comply?
In Indonesia, where it is becoming next to impossible for Christians to build churches, Christians congregated to celebrate Christmas, 2012, on empty land where they hoped to build a church-only to be attacked by Muslims who hurled cow dung and bags of urine at the Christians as they prayed.
These Muslims were also sincerely aggrieved: how dare these Christians think they can build a church when the Conditions forbid it? (See Crucified Again for a new translation of "The Conditions of Omar.)
Weeks ago in Pakistan, after a Christian man was accused of insulting Muslim prophet Muhammad-another big no-no according to the Conditions-3,000 Muslims burned down two churches and some 200 Christian homes.
Take a look at their pictures; these are undoubtedly people with a "grievance."
Most recently in Pakistan, when a Muslim slapped a Christian and the latter reciprocated, the Muslim exclaimed, "How dare a Christian slap me?" Anti-Christian violence immediately commenced.
In short, anytime non-Muslims dare to overstep their Sharia-designated "inferior" status, supremacist Muslims become violently aggrieved.
From here, one can begin to understand the ultimate Muslim grievance: Israel.
For if "infidel" Christians are deemed inferior and attacked by aggrieved Muslims for exercising their basic human rights, like freedom of worship, how must Muslims feel about Jews-the descendants of pigs and apes, according to the Koran-exercising power and authority over fellow Muslims in what is perceived to be Muslim land?
How dare they?!
Of course, if grievances against Israel were really about justice and displaced Palestinians, Muslims-and their Western appeasers-would be aggrieved by the fact thatmillions of Christians are currently being displaced by Muslim invaders.
Needless to say, they are not.
So the next time you hear that Muslim rage and terrorism are products of grievance, remember that this is absolutely true. But these "grievances" are not predicated on any universal standards of equality or justice, only a supremacist worldview.
Islam on Cows, Horses, Camels and Women
One of the few positive developments following the rise of the Islamists during the “Arab Spring” is that today many average and/or nominal Muslims are seeing the true face of Islam and its teachings. And many—as evinced by the June 30 Revolution of Egypt, which saw the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood—don’t want to deal with it.
Taliban: “herding” women with a stick
For example, during a recent episode of “With Dr. Islam Buhira” on Al Qahira Wa Al Nass TV station, Buhira explained how he had attended “a conference in Morocco on the status of women in society post Arab Spring,” and how at the conference, the following interpretation of the Koran by renowned Islamic exegete, al-Qurtubi (d.1273), was read: “Women are like cows, horses, and camels, for all are ridden.”
After quoting al-Qurtubi’s words, Dr. Buhira continued, in a disappointed tone: “This is how al-Qurtubi speaks about women, who include his mother, his daughters—basically all Muslim women. He says they are ‘all ridden.’ This is what makes them similar to animals.”
Hard to believe or not, the idea that “Women are like cows, horses, and camels, for all are ridden,” is in fact recorded in Tafsir al-Qurtubi (see vol. 17, p. 172), one of the Islamic world’s most authoritative exegeses, or commentary on the teachings of the Koran.
In fact, comparing women to beasts is not uncommon in Islam and traces back to Prophet Muhammad himself, who is recorded saying, “Women, dogs, and donkeys annul a man’s prayer” (Musnad Ibn Hanbal, vol. 2, p. 2992).
I first translated and discussed these texts likening women to animals in 2008, in the context of how female concubines in Islam are not deemed human, as the Arabic relative pronoun used in the Koran to indicate captive sex-slaves is “it”—as in an animal—not “she” (e.g., Koran 4:3).
Even so, many Muslims, including women, are only now learning about these texts and teachings. The fact is many Muslims really don’t know much about Islam beyond the Five Pillars. But they have been conditioned to believe that, whatever Sharia says must be laudable and judicious—Sharia being the law of their god as delivered by their beloved prophet. Moreover, in the last couple decades the slogan “Islam is the solution” became popular as a panacea to all of society’s ill.
That is, until it went from being theory to reality.
Put differently, now that the Arab Spring has brought Islamists to power—in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Libya, and currently trying (at the tip of the jihadi sword) in Syria—nominal and nonobservant “cultural” Muslims, and they are not a few, who for decades were ruled by Westernized autocrats and media, are finally seeing the true face of Islam and its teachings, in all their minutia, up close and personal. This new acquaintance with the truth is setting some of them free—even as it further enslaves those who like what they see.
Islam’s Insanities: All Just a ‘Hoax’?
by Raymond Ibrahim
October 11, 2012
You read something immensely disturbing concerning the Muslim world—say, that some Muslims seek to legalize sex-slavery or destroy Egypt’s Pyramids or approve of sodomy-suicide-missions or crucify infidels. Your mind—exclaiming "tell me this is a joke!"—finds it difficult to accept such news. Then, somewhere from the bowels of the Internet, relief arrives.
To determine if a practice is Islamic or not, first determine if it is in the Quran, Hadith, and the rest of Islam’s voluminous literature.
The much welcomed word "Hoax!" appears, reconfirming your worldview. All is well again.
But is it? Are such accounts mere hoaxes? Or is this just another strategy by those who apologize for Islam’s insanities—a strategy that relies exclusively on the fact that the Western mindset cannot fathom such news, anyway, and thus is all too willing to accept the hoax charge without a second thought?
Recall the news that Salafi parliamentarians in Egypt were pushing for a law legalizing necrophilia. This information first appeared in Egypt’s most circulated newspaper, Al Ahram, followed by Al Arabiya. The news went viral, prompting Western dismay. But then a cutesy Christian Science Monitor article titled "Egypt ‘necrophilia law’? Hooey, utter hooey" tried to return us to the status quo. Its author, one Dan Murphy, admonished the many websites that disseminated the necrophilia story: "Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, kids. At least until there’s like, you know, some proof."
And his "proof" that it was a hoax? Nothing. He even confirmed that "there was a Moroccan cleric a few years back who apparently did issue a religious ruling saying that husbands remained married to their wives in the first six hours after death and, so, well, you know [i.e., he permitted necrophilia]. But that guy is far, far out on the nutty fringe."
Aside from Murphy’s immature tone—"so, well, you know" what?—one fails to see how characterizing a cleric as a "nut" means that his religious ruling is a "hoax"—that it never existed? Likewise, when it comes to fatwas, it matters not which nation they hail from, so that Egyptians can easily uphold the fatwa of a Moroccan, or vice-versa, because in Islam there is no "national" distinction, only the umma.
And yet, no matter how shallow or lacking in evidence, these hoax charges resonate well, simply because the mainstream Western mentality instinctively rejects, in this case, the idea of codifying necrophilia.
Much of this is exacerbated by the fact that most Westerners, including reporters, cannot independently verify such stories, as they usually originate in Middle Eastern languages. Which leads to my familiarity with this matter: I get most of my news directly from the Arabic media—knowing that it is better to get my information directly "from the horse’s mouth" than to get it from the limited and filtered Western media.
Accordingly, I am often first to expose stories that go unreported in the West—for instance, the fact that the U.S. embassy in Cairo was being threatened days before the Muhammad movie became a convenient excuse to riot and destroy (the original reason was to coerce the U.S. to free the Blind Sheikh and others).
However, those who prefer to keep such stories suppressed have learned to cry "hoax"—taking advantage of the fact that most Americans cannot read Arabic or verify these accounts for themselves.
Thus, when I documented the indisputable fact that several Islamists were calling for the destruction of Egypt’s Pyramids, the New York Times and Huffington Post cried "hoax"; when I shed light on an obscure "sodomy fatwa" which helped explain the role of intention in Islam (or niyya), Muslims and others cried hoax, including by lying and distorting; and when I reported on how Muslim Brotherhood supporters crucified their opponents, the National Post and others cried hoax.
And yet, none of these naysayers offered any meaningful evidence (click above links for my full responses). Instead, they banked on the fact that it is simply too hard to believe these stories in the first place.
So what should the objective Western reader do—who is stuck in the middle, does not read Arabic, and cannot independently verify anything—when confronted with absurd news emanating from the Islamic world?
Along with evaluating the evidence as best they can, I suggest they learn to connect-the-dots. The fact is, there is no end of bizarre anecdotes emanating from the Islamic world. Saudi Arabia’s highest Islamic authority until he died in 1999, Sheikh Bin Baz—hardly someone to be dismissed as being "far, far out on the nutty fringe"—insisted that the earth was flat and that all scientific evidence otherwise is a Western conspiracy.
In 2007, Egypt’s second highest Islamic authority, Sheikh Ali Gomaa—the same "moderate" Grand Mufti who deems all Christians "infidels"—decreed that drinking the urine of Muhammad was a great blessing. Likewise, a few weeks ago in Egypt it was revealed that there is now a clinic "healing" people by giving them camel urine to drink—because Muhammad once advised it.
Then there are the notorious breastfeeding fatwas: Several Islamic clerics—including Dr. Izzat Atiya, of Egypt’s Al Azhar University—advised Muslim female workers to "breastfeed" their male co-workers in order to be in each other’s company (more "moderate" clerics say it is not necessary for the man to drink the milk directly from the teat but may use a cup).
The list goes on and on: Several Muslims, including prominent ones, are calling for the reinstitution of sex-slavery, whereby "infidel" women can be bought and sold in markets. One female Kuwaiti politician even recommends that Russian women seized during the Chechnya jihad be sold as sex-slaves on Muslim markets.
Other prominent clerics insist that Islam allows men to get "married" to baby girls still in the cradle, having sex with them once these children are "capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men."
How does one explain these absurd and vile teachings—teachings advocated, not from radicals nor clerics "far, far out on the nutty fringe"—but often from its highest authorities? Simple: Islamic jurisprudence, which is responsible for defining what is right and wrong in Islam, is fundamentally based on the words of a 7th century Arab whom Muslims venerate as a prophet. And this man said and did many things that defy modern day sensibilities.
Indeed, he said and did many things that defied the sensibilities of his contemporaries—such as stripping naked and lying with a dead woman to the surprise of her gravediggers (which, incidentally, is cited by the necrophilia fatwas). And it was the prophet who first ordered a woman to "breastfeed" a man in order to be in his company. Though she expressed shock at the very idea, she went through with it anyway.
Here, then, is the rule of thumb: When it comes to determining whether a story from the Muslim world is a hoax or not, first determine whether it is it Islamic or not—whether it has doctrinal or historic support; whether it has some backing in the Quran and/or the hadith.
As it happens, destroying pyramids and pre-Islamic antiquities is very Islamic with a long paper trail; engaging in forbidden acts like sodomy or suicide or lying in order to empower Islam is legitimate according to the Islamic notion of niyya (or intention); crucifying the opponents of Islam is prescribed in the Quran—just as is sex-slavery and pedophilia; drinking urine—whether camels’ or Muhammad’s—is lauded in the hadith.
In short, the true test of whether an Islam-related story is a hoax or not, is not whether it accords with our sensibilities, but whether it accords with Islam’s teachings, many of which are strange if not downright bizarre by Western standards.
Latest Featured Articles from the Pundicity Network
Crucifixions, Not Fictions
by Raymond Ibrahim
Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 4, 2012
I recently wrote an article based on Arabic reports that Muslim Brotherhood supporters had crucified Morsi’s opponents. Because it was picked up by several websites and disseminated far and wide, as usual, Islam’s apologists and others claimed "hoax."
Readers sent me a couple of these articles which, upon further investigation, seem to be based on a National Post article titled "Egypt’s ‘crucifixion’ hoax becomes an instant Internet myth" by one Jonathan Kay. He characterizes the crucifixion account as "a story worth dissecting—not because it’s true (it isn’t), but because it is a textbook example of how the Internet, once thought to be the perfect medium of truth-seeking, has been co-opted by culture warriors as a weapon to fire up the naïve masses with lies and urban legends."
Alternatively, dissecting Kay’s claims is useful as it is a textbook example of how the Western mindset tries to rationalize away whatever does not fit its intellectual boundaries.
First, after mentioning the several websites that carried or quoted my article, Kay wondered how none of the "sources supply the original Sky reporting that purportedly outlines the facts." Then, he offers the following sentence as its own paragraph, apparently as something of an eye-opening revelation:
"That’s because there is no Sky report on the subject."
Actually, this big "aha" moment was made earlier and by someone else—me, in my original article. After posting the names of several Arabic websites that carried the same verbatim quote from Sky News, I pointed out that Sky removed its original report. I did not have to make this point, or mention Sky News at all, since other reports—including El Balad, a much higher trafficked Arabic website which I also quoted—independently mentions the crucifixions in original language and further adds that two people died. And that report, as of now, is still up.
Kay then quotes a Sky News official who supposedly told him that the crucifixion claim
began on social media. It started getting pick-up from there and eventually reached us [Sky News]. Our reporters came across reports of the alleged crucifixions and a story very briefly appeared on the Sky News Arabia website. The story—which was taken down within minutes—was based on third-party reports and I am not aware that any of our reporters said or confirmed anything along the lines of what is quoted in the article… none of our correspondents confirmed this issue or commented on it.
Several points here:
First, Sky News admits to having published a story about crucifixions. Likewise, though it admits to taking it down, it never states that the crucifixion accounts are a "hoax" or even false. It simply offers no comment. This is not proof that the story is a hoax.
As for the claim that the report was "taken down within minutes," in fact, someone forwarded me the Sky News link almost two days before I actually clicked it, and the article was still up and written exactly like a report. Investigative reporter Patrick Poole sent me a clear snapshot of the webpage before it was removed, which is before me.
The title, "Protesters Crucified in Front of Presidential Palace in Egypt," is followed by the following standard reporting information: "Thursday, August 9, 3:19 am Abu Dhabi time; 11:19 pm Greenwich; Samir Umar [reporter], Cairo, Sky News Arabic," followed by the portion I originally translated: "A Sky News Arabic correspondent in Cairo confirmed that protestors belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others."
Moreover, the photo of the page shows 286 face book likes: one doubts that a report on a modestly trafficked website would reach that number if it was only up for mere minutes.
Kay also ignored the context of the crucifixions in my original article: Muslim Brotherhood supporters were brutalizing the media for constantly exposing the Islamist agenda—a well documented fact. A major news media facility was ransacked, popular anchors beat and terrorized. Soon thereafter, Brotherhood officials were appointed to "oversee" major media outlets in Egypt.
As I originally pointed out, Sky News may have "censored itself for fear that it would be next in the terror campaign against the media." If this is the case—if Sky News had removed its report on Brotherhood crucifixions in light of the fact that the Brotherhood was in the process of abusing and threatening the media—would it then get itself in deeper trouble by, of all things, telling a Western reporter, "Yes, the Brotherhood crucified people and we took the story down in fear of the Brotherhood"? Not likely.
Kay also writes: "If that [crucifixion] happened, wouldn’t someone, you know, take a picture?… Maybe just a few shots with a cell phone camera from one of the tens of thousands of people who no doubt would have witnessed this Biblical horror in one of the most densely trafficked patches of real estate in the entire Arab world?"
One wonders if Kay has ever been around a wild pro-Sharia mob in Egypt savaging its opponents. It’s not pretty; the usual instinct is to run for one’s life, not take photos and thus further enrage the mobs by collecting evidence against them. Likewise, if photos were the ultimate criteria to validate reports, then over 90% of all news stories become suspect for not carrying pictures.
Even so, yet another reputable Arabic website, Dostor Watany, did post a graphic picture, which appeared in my original article. It depicts a man rescued by security forces, with one side of his body literally carved off. But apparently doubting Kay needs to see the actual holes in the victim’s hands before he believes that the same Muslim Brotherhood supporters who mutilated this man could ever crucify someone.
Moreover, the reports do not mention any numbers. Yet even if there were, as Kay asserts, "tens of thousands" of people present—and there weren’t—that would still say very little.
Recall Egypt’s Maspero Massacre: while the disconnected Western mainstream media was portraying it as violent Christians attacking Egyptian police, in fact, it was the Egyptian military slaughtering Christians, killing dozens and wounding hundreds, simply because they came out in large numbers to protest the constant destruction of their churches. And although there were several thousands of people present that night, only a very few amateur videos appeared showing armored-vehicles running over Christians—and these, too, I now see have been taken down from YouTube.
Kay’s "evidence" culminates by quoting, of all things, a comment under one of the websites carrying my story, from someone who claims to be a Copt, lives near the area, and heard of no such occurrences.
Such is the sort of "proof" being relied on to "debunk" this story—as if this commenter could not be, say, a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer living up to the dictum of Islam’s prophet, that "war is deceit."
All this leads to the most important point. Whereas Kay appears intent on proving that the crucifixions never happened, a close read of my article shows that I never said they did happen. As always, I merely reported and translated what was on the Arabic media; noted that Sky News took its story down; and then offered my own interpretation—including the fact that Muslims have been known to crucify their opponents in the modern era, crucifixions are prescribed by the Koran and Sharia, and an Egyptian parliamentarian recently called for crucifixions to be legalized.
In light of all the above, I reiterate my original conclusion: "there is little reason to doubt this crucifixion story."
Indeed, soon after this crucifixion story appeared in the Egyptian media, a disturbing video surfaced from Yemen, of a mutilated man, crucified.
How long before the usual naysayers try to portray even this video as a "hoax"?
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by Raymond Ibrahim
Originally published by the Gatestone Institute
May 11, 2012
As the United States considers the Islamic jihadi threats confronting it from all sides, it would do well to focus on its southern neighbor, Mexico, which has been targeted by Islamists and jihadists, who, through a number of tactics—from engaging in da’wa, converting Mexicans to Islam, to smuggling and the drug cartel, simple extortion, kidnappings and enslavement—have been subverting Mexico in order to empower Islam and sabotage the U.S.
According to a 2010 report, "Close to home: Hezbollah terrorists are plotting right on the U.S. border," which appeared in the NY Daily News:
Mexican authorities have rolled up a Hezbollah network being built in Tijuana, right across the border from Texas and closer to American homes than the terrorist hideouts in the Bekaa Valley are to Israel. Its goal, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper that reported on the investigation: to strike targets in Israel and the West. Over the years, Hezbollah—rich with Iranian oil money and narcocash—has generated revenue by cozying up with Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. In this, it has shadowed the terrorist-sponsoring regime in Tehran, which has been forging close ties with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who in turn supports the narcoterrorist organization FARC, which wreaks all kinds of havoc throughout the region.
Another 2010 article appearing in the Washington Times asserts that, "with fresh evidence of Hezbollah activity just south of the border [in Mexico], and numerous reports of Muslims from various countries posing as Mexicans and crossing into the United States from Mexico, our porous southern border is a national security nightmare waiting to happen." This is in keeping with a recent study done by Georgetown University, which revealed that the number of immigrants from Lebanon and Syria living in Mexico exceeds 200,000. Syria, along with Iran, is one of Hezbollah’s strongest financial and political supporters, and Lebanon is the immigrants’ country of origin. Just like only 19 jihadists were necessary to cause the devastation of September 11, 2001, only a handful of these 200,000 are necessary to wreak havoc north of the border.
A jihadist cell in Mexico was recently found to have a weapons cache of 100 M-16 assault rifles, 100 AR-15 rifles, 2,500 hand grenades, C4 explosives and antitank munitions. The weapons, it turned out, had been smuggled by Muslims from Iraq. According to this report, "obvious concerns have arisen concerning Hezbollah’s presence in Mexico and possible ties to Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTO’s) operating along the U.S.-Mexico border."
As far back as 2005, an article entitled "Islam is gaining a Foothold in Chiapas" showcased the inroads of Islam in Mexico:
Long a bastion of Catholicism, southern Mexico is quickly turning into a battleground for soul-savers. Islam, too, is gaining a foothold and the indigenous Mayans are converting by the hundreds. The Mexican government is worried about a culture clash in their own backyard… Muslim women in headscarves have become a common sight….
To appreciate the significance of the fact that Muslim headscarves "have become a common sight" in Mexico, consider the words of former jihadist Tawfik Hamid, who personally knew al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri. In his book, Inside Jihad, he writes: "The proliferation of the hijab [Muslim headscarves] is strongly correlated with increased terrorism…. Terrorism became much more frequent in such societies as Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria, and the U.K. after the hijab became prevalent among Muslim women living in those communities."
After discussing an increase in converts to Islam, the article continues by saying: "It’s a development that is beginning to worry the Mexican government. Indeed, the government even suspects the new converts of subversive activity and has already set the secret service onto the track of the Mayan Muslims. Mexican President Vincente Fox has even gone so far as to say he fears the influence of the radical fundamentalists of al-Qaida" [emphasis added].
Kidnappings, as part of a drug cartel or as part of a jihadist operation, which legitimizes crimes such as kidnapping and child slavery, have become increasingly common. To convert non-Muslims to their cause, Islamists also whip up—and then exploit—a sense of "grievance" against the "white man."
In addition, according to counterterrorism experts in this report, Islamic terrorists blend in better with Mexicans than with Europeans, thereby enabling them to sneak into the U.S. across the southwest border. This Muslim cleric, for example, discusses how easy it is to smuggle a briefcase containing anthrax from Mexico into America, thereby killing at least some 330,000 Americans in a single hour.
Similarly, Michael Braun, formerly assistant administrator and chief of operations at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said that the Iran-backed Lebanese group has long been involved in narcotics and human trafficking in South America; however, it is relying on Mexican narcotics syndicates that control access to transit routes into the U.S. Hezbollah relies on "the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels."
Only a few months ago, Washington announced that FBI and DEA agents disrupted a plot to commit a "significant terrorist act in the United States," tied to Iran with roots in Mexico. The increased violence—including beheadings, Islam’s signature trademark—is even more indicative that Islamists are well ensconced in Mexico’s drug cartel.
The threat is not limited to Hezbollah; back in 2006, according to ISN, "Mexican authorities investigated the activities of the Murabitun [a da'wa, or missionary-outreach, organization named after historic jihadists along Spain's borders] due to reports of alleged immigration and visa abuses involving the group’s European members and possible radicals, including al-Qaeda."
Even innocuous reports, such as this Muslim article, are cause for concern: "Today, most Mexican Islamic organizations focus on grassroots da’wa. These small organizations are most effective at the community level, going from village to village and speaking directly to the people." Although this may not sound problematic, the strain of Islam being spread by many of these da’wa organizations is the radical, "Salafist," anti-American variety. Here, for instance, is a popular Egyptian TV cleric saying that while Muslims must never smile to non-Muslims—who, as "infidels," are by nature the enemy—they are free to do so if the Muslim is engaged in da’wa, trying to win over the infidel into the fold of Islam, especially if the potential convert can help empower Islam in any way.
These are but a few of the many reports on Islam in Mexico. The evidence that many Islamists in Mexico are plotting against the U.S., using all means—such as drug trafficking, which is not forbidden in Sharia law if it serves to empower Islam—is overwhelming.
Under various methods—from the violent to the subversive to the exploitative—Islam allows Muslims to lie and commit other duplicitous acts in the furtherance of Islam. Taqiyya [dissimulation] permits Hezbollah and other Islamists to engage in Mexico’s drug cartel, just as "pious" members of the Taliban in Afghanistan pursued the heroin trade. Aside from sheer violence, justified as "jihad," or holy war, tactics pursued by Mexico’s Islamists include:
· Kidnappings and enslavement, for which Mexico is already notorious. Sharia permits kidnapping, and even enslaving the infidel, in this situation, any non-Muslim in Mexico. The Quran not only approves of this, but allows male jihadists to have sex with female captives of war (Sura 4, verse 3). Here, for example, is a Muslim politician trying to legalize the institution of "sex-slavery."
· Extortion and blackmail, features of the Mexican landscape, are also permissible in Islam. According to Sharia, during jihad, Muslims are permitted to hold for ransom infidels to be sold back for large amounts of money. Here, for instance, is a popular Egyptian sheikh saying that the Islamic world’s problem is that it has stopped plundering and enslaving its infidel neighbors. He even boasts that under true Sharia, he could go to the local market and "buy" a female "sex-slave."
In using subversive elements for da’wa, Muslims might comfortably use false arguments to turn Mexicans against their northern neighbors. For instance, they often argue that Islam is a religion of "racial equality," whereas Christianity is the "white man’s" religion, imposed on their ancestors by racist whites who sought to keep them "impoverished" beyond the border. Islamist strategies in Mexico amount to trying to win the unbelievers over to their side, whether through conversion or just cooperation. For those who refuse to cooperate, they are infidels to be used in any way that seems appropriate.
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by Raymond Ibrahim
Originally published by the Gatestone Institute
April 5, 2012
Apologists often try to explain away Islamic terrorism as a byproduct of something else. The usual argument is that, because Muslims are politically, socially, or militarily weak—the archetypal example often given is Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians—they have no choice but to resort to terror to strike at their stronger adversaries. In other words, they resort to terrorism simply to even the odds—hence the argument that terrorism is the "weapon of the weak."
Though this narrative is widely accepted, it is demonstrably false. Consider the following account that took place a couple of weeks ago in Muslim-majority Egypt:
More than 300 Muslim lawyers inside and outside a courthouse in the southern Egyptian province of Assuit today [3/16] prevented defense lawyer Ahmad Sayed Gabali, who is representing the Christian, Makarem Diab, from going into court. Mr. Diab was found guilty of "Insulting the Muslim Prophet" and was scheduled today for a hearing on his appeal. Attorney Dr. Naguib Gabriell, head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization, said there was "terror in the Assiut Court today." He added that he was on his way to court when he was advised that Muslim lawyers have issued death threats to any Christian lawyers who attend the court session. "Makram Diab was assaulted by Muslim lawyers during his transfer from the courtroom and security failed to protect him." Peter Sarwat, a Coptic lawyer, said that Muslim lawyers representing the plaintiffs prevented the defense team from entering court: "They said no Muslim will defend a Christian. It was agreed that Christian lawyers would take over and two Coptic lawyers volunteered, but the Muslims decided later that even Christians would not defend him." Sarwat said the Muslim lawyers wanted to assault the chief judge but he managed to leave the court via a rear door [emphasis added].
The report goes on to explain how Muslim lawyers and activists went to court to defend Diab’s right to a fair trial only to be assaulted by other Muslim lawyers: "They were assaulting us in a beastly and strange way just because we went there to defend a citizen who happened to be a Christian," said one of the lawyers, adding that exiting the court required security intervention: "We left court in a security vehicle which took us to Security headquarters, otherwise, we don’t know what the outcome would have been for us."
More details include eyewitnesses reporting that the Muslim lawyers were "armed with clubs." Several, including reporters, were injured in the ensuing melee, and human rights groups were "forced out of the courtroom by the Muslims."
Was the condemned Christian’s attorney right to categorize this incident as "terrorism"? According to Dictionary.com, the primary definition of terrorism is "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes." In other words, terrorism is not just limited to 9/11-type strikes, but involves intimidating, bullying, threatening, etc.—precisely what happened at this courthouse trial.
Some more key points to keep in mind:
- Those making the death threats, physically assaulting others with clubs, and otherwise engaging in terrorist behavior were "more than 300 Muslim lawyers"; not jihadis or fugitives hiding out in caves, but lawyers.
- The entire issue revolves around something that, by Western standards of freedom, would be a non-issue to start with: insulting a "holy" figure, Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. In a Western court of law, the Christian "blasphemer" would not even be tried, but rather the terrorist "lawyers."
- The attacks on fellow Muslim lawyers who merely sought to represent the condemned Christian is in keeping with Islam’s doctrines of loyalty and disloyalty, which command Muslims always to side with fellow Muslims, while having enmity for non-Muslim infidels—certainly those perceived to have insulted their prophet.
The ultimate lesson emerging from this shameful fiasco is one of sheer predictability. Anyone familiar with the doings of the Islamic world—its history, its doctrines—cannot be surprised at any of the above: rage and violence in response to a non-Muslim insulting the prophet; rage and violence toward Muslim members of a legal system for trying to represent an "infidel"—these are quite standard, with ample precedent, regardless of whether the enraged Muslims are suit-and-tie wearing lawyers, or kalachnikoff-wearing jihadis.
Contrary to popular belief, then, and as this episode clearly shows, Islamic terrorism is not a byproduct of "weakness," but rather the typical approach to those who transgress the bounds of Sharia. Whether one man "blaspheming" Muhammad in a Muslim-majority nation (as in this example) or whether an entire nation existing on land perceived to be Islam’s (as in the case of Israel)—terror is never far behind for those transgressing the bounds of Sharia
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