Thursday, December 21, 2006


Self-proclaimed Islamist "moderates" like CAIR and Tariq Ramadan insist that Muslims must benefit from full toleration and complete acceptance in the West.

Why exactly they think that Western cultures must embrace them so openly is not entirely clear, since their own Islamist societies are in fact extremely intolerant. Let's look at a few examples.

As reported today in the Telegraph, a flight attendant working for British Midlands International airways (bmi) was told she could not take her Bible with her on flights to Saudi Arabia.
The stewardess, who has not been named, claims that she has been subject to discrimination because of her faith. She is understood to have deep religious convictions and carries a Bible with her at all times. But bmi, which is the only British scheduled carrier to fly to the country after British Airways pulled out of the route, insisted that it was only following Foreign Office advice.

The dispute has erupted as British Airways seeks to settle its own dispute with Nadia Eweida, a Heathrow check-in worker, who has been banned from wearing a cross on a necklace while on duty.

A spokesman for bmi said the airline was complying with Saudi law and added that the stewardess had been offered the opportunity to switch to working on its short-haul routes. It could not, however, alter its long-haul rosters to accommodate her.

The Foreign Office website informs travellers to Saudi Arabia: "The importation and use of narcotics, alcohol, pork products and religious books, apart from the Koran, and artefacts are forbidden." A spokesman said last night that the Saudi authorities would automatically confiscate a Bible from anybody trying to bring one into the country and it would not be returned. A spokesman for Christian Solidarity Worldwide said: "It is worrying that a British company should be instructing its staff to conform to practices which are in violation of international standards on religious freedom."

The Saudi government prohibits the public practice of other religions and the possession of non-Islamic religious objects has often led to arrests."
The Saudi Government confiscates and shreds Bibles at the entry-points to the Kingdom, and also confiscates and shreds editions of the Holy Qu'ran that do not meet its extremist standards.

The Saudis have also decided to ban cats and dogs. The muttawa or religious police, have decided that keeping cats or dogs is a sign of Western influence, and they are therefore banning the sale of cats and dogs in Jiddah and Mecca.

That shows the fanatical degree of intolerance practiced by the Saudi Wahhabists, since the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) was known to love cats:
Muezza was the Prophet Muhammad’s favorite cat. The most famous story about Muezza recounts how the call to prayer was given, and as Muhammad went to put on one of his robes, he found his cat sleeping on one of the sleeves, and instead of disturbing the cat he cut off the sleeve and let him sleep. When he returned, Muezza awoke and bowed down to Muhammad, and in return he stroked him three times.
But don't be fooled into thinking that Islamic intolerance is restricted to Saudi Arabia. When asked in a Question & Answer piece in the Toronto Globe & Mail, why Islam seemed so intolerant of other religions, Tariq Ramadan ingenuously answered:
"please do not confuse Islam with the Arab countries. Many majority Islamic countries such as Senegal, Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey are experiencing a kind of democracy, even though it is not perfect. This has nothing to do with Islam and very often the religion is used as an instrument to forbid people the right to dissent."

In fact, all Islamic countries are officially intolerant of any other religion. In Pakistan and Bangladesh, the Ahmadiyya Islamic movement is officially sanctioned, its adherents are not even allowed to call themselves Muslims, and they are forbidden from praying using Muslim forms of worship. They have freedom to practice their form of Islam only in non-Islamic countries such as India or the United States. Evangelizing for Christianity is a capital crime in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and many other Islamic countries as well. In Afghanistan, even converting to Christianity is a capital crime.

Iraq is on the front page of every newspaper in the world every day.

Moreover, the Islamic countries have never accepted the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Instead, the nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference adopted in 1981 the "Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights," which is "subject to Islamic sharia." Thus the Islamic countries openly proclaim that their laws will never respect the individual human being's freedom of conscience.

It is therefore not surprising that contact between the Ummah and the United States has ultimately resulted in a clash of cultures. For the United States is founded on religious freedom and religious toleration if on nothing else.

From 1620 to 1800, four great waves of English settlers came to the North American continent, and most of them were fleeing religious persecution and seeking religious freedom. First, mainly in the 1630s, the Puritans came to Massachusetts, seeking freedom from the strictures of the established Church of England. Then, in the 1650s High Church Anglicans who were seeking freedom from Cromwell's Puritanism settled in the Chesapeake tidewater. In the 1670s Quakers and German Pietists settled in the Delaware Valley. And in the 18th century, evangelical Protestants from the areas bordering the Irish Sea in England, Scotland, and Ireland, settled in the Appalachians.

From this heritage comes the great respect that we Americans accord to an individual's conscience, and to an individual's freedom to worship God as he or she understands that he or she must. Our Bill of Rights explicitly prevents Congress from enacting any law that would establish any particular religion as the official religion of the United States.

And Article 18 of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights is unambiguous:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
The Islamists take advantage of the West's adherence to this doctrine in order to undermine this sacred "freedom of thought, conscience and religion" and to replace it with the intolerant code of sharia, under which those who do not submit to Islam are judged infidels and deprived of either their lives or dignity. The freedom that the Islamists seek, is the freedom to deprive us of our

This project is clearly evident in Rod Dreher's account of his meeting with moderate, mainstream spokesmen for the Dallas Muslim community that was mentioned by Pastorius in an earlier post. This is how Dreher described the meeting:
At the Dallas Morning News the other day, our editorial board received a delegation from the local Muslim community. They came in large part to complain about editorial coverage of the community, which is to say they came mostly to complain about me. Which is fine: they accurately recognize that don't believe their claims that they are completely innocent of radicalism, and are wholly victims of irrational fear of Muslims. Once again, I came away from a meeting with them even more convinced of my views in this regard. I recorded the entire meeting, and hope to have the time in the next week or so to post lengthy excerpts. In summation, though, the group was defensive, evasive, and wouldn't give a straight answer to simple questions.

I asked the delegation's leader to clarify something he'd said to me and some colleagues last time we met, about his belief that homosexuals should be killed, adulterous women stoned, etc. He launched an elaborate defense of this position, saying that Judaism and Christianity are against homosexuality. Yes, I said, but they don't require that gays be killed for being gay. Do you believe that they should? An imam jumped in to explain why the sharia is right to require hand-chopping of thieves. Later, the delegation's leader said that if I'm asking him to apologize for what his religion requires, he's not going to do it.

Trying to get at the heart of the matter, I asked if they thought sharia should be the law of the land in our secular pluralistic democracy. Another round of long-winded answers, amounting to, "It would never happen here." That's not what I'm asking, I said; should it happen here. Someone explained that Muslim community would never be big enough in this country to make that happen. Which is, of course, entirely beside the point, but we moved on. I had my answer.
Notice the thinking process by which the imam described above develops his arguments: when Dreher challenged him to respond if he thought gays should be executed, the imam counters by raising the ante to include the manual amputation of thieves. And then huffily refuses to apologize for "what his religion requires."

In 2003, after I'd only been in Dallas for a few months, we had a meeting with Dr. Sayyid Syeed, head of the Islamic Society of North America. Dr. Syeed was as pleasant as could be as long as we talked very generally about peace and cooperation. But when I asked him how he squared his professed belief in peace and tolerance with the indisputable fact that members of the ISNA board had been directly linked to extremist organizations and viewpoints, he became furious, shook his fist at me, told me that I would one day "repent," and said my questions reminded him of Nazi Germany.

It was a hysterical performance, and one that raised far more questions than it answered. I believe that many US Muslim leaders try to substitute "How dare you!" for a substantive response to serious and legitimate concerns, in hopes that those asking the questions will withdraw them out of shame. Sorry, but that doesn't work with me, and it ought not work with anybody who didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday. In the meeting here the other day, when the topic of Sayyid Qutb's thought being part of a quiz competition at the big local mosque came up, Mohamed and some of the others tried to minimize Qutb's importance. You might have believed that if, like most Americans, you know nothing about Qutb. But anybody who knows anything about him understands his
absolutely central role as the philosopher behind modern jihadism. To learn that Qutb's thought has been welcomed into a mosque does not put one's mind at ease. Here, for example, is Qutb on the possibility of building bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims, i.e., those living in Ignorance:

The only way to bridge the gulf between the two is for Ignorance to liquidate itself completely and substitute for all its laws, values, standards and concepts their Islamic counterparts. The first step that should be taken in this field by the person calling on people to embrace Islam is to segregate himself from Ignorance. He must be separated to the extent that any agreement or intercourse between him and Ignorance is absolutely impossible unless and until the people of Ignorance embrace Islam completely: no intermingling, no half measures or conciliation is permissible, however clever Ignorance may be in usurping the role of Islam or reflecting it. The chief basis of the personality of the person inviting others to Islam is the clear manifestation of this fact within himself and his solemn conviction of being radically different from them. They have their own religion, and he has his. His task is to orientate them so that they may follow his path without any fraud or pretence. Failing this, he must withdraw completely, detach himself from their life and openly declare to them: "You have your own religion, and I have mine." This is a sine qua non for the contemporary advocates of Islam.
Now, you simply cannot tell me that teaching the thought of a man who believed the only way to relate to non-Muslims is entirely on terms set by Muslims, who should intend ultimately to destroy non-Muslim beliefs and way of life and substitute Islam -- you can't tell me that exposing kids to this way of thinking in the biggest mosque in Texas is not something worthy of the larger community's concern. You can't dismiss him as a fringe figure, or dismiss his being taught here as nothing compared to all the good that the mosque does. You just can't, not credibly. We are seeing in England the poisonous fruits of the wider community having turned a blind eye to the spread of this poisonous ideology among the youth. We can't afford the same mistake here.

To ask these questions is not to show hatred for Muslims, and to assert such a thing is transparently an attempt at moral bullying. On the contrary, asking hard questions and expecting credible answers is to take Islam and its doctrines and believers seriously. And it is to take the journalists' role seriously. I mean it sincerely when I say that I welcome dialogue with our Muslim neighbors. Dialogue, not monologue. Mohamed seems to believe that dialogue is only possible if the outcome is predetermined, and it can only be agreement with his side's views. I respectfully but firmly dissent.

It would appear from Tariq Ramadan's blithe taqiyya and from the forthright explanations of the leaders of the Dallas Muslim community, that even moderate Muslims, as Dreher puts it, believe that the only way to relate to non-Muslims is entirely on terms set by Muslims, and intend ultimately to destroy our non-Muslim beliefs and way of life, for which they intend to substitute Islam.

That is what they expect us passively to tolerate. As Patrick Henry said, "Forbid it, Almighty God!"

1 comment:

Pastorius said...

An exceedingly excellent post, Punditarian.

One thing further, it is important to note that another thing the Saudi Kingdom prohibits from entering into their country is