Memo to Muslims: If You Enjoy Freedom, Take a Stand Against Sharia

February 28, 2008

Don’t be a victim of Sharia. If you are a Muslim in the West who appreciates the individual rights and freedoms you have enjoyed under a secular government, this memo is for you.

As you may be aware, many Muslims are Islamists, pushing for Sharia to be implemented in the West. If they succeed, you will be among their first victims.

Here’s how Sharia victimizes Muslims

  • All Muslims lose freedom of expression. In a Muslim country, Muslims are not free to criticize Islamic doctrines such as Sharia. There are individual cases of people who get by with it, but there are also many who are punished. The path of history is littered with the corpses of executed Muslim reformers, and to this day, certain sects deemed heretical are heavily persecuted.
  • All Muslims lose freedom of conscience. In the West, we take for granted the fact that people can choose to be a member of any religion or non-religion. This is of great value to people of any faith; first, because they can worship as they choose free of persecution; and second, because their faith has more meaning since they personally choose it, rather than faith being forced on them. Under Sharia, non-Muslims (at least, those of the Book) retain the right to follow their conscience as low-class dhimmis, but Muslims have no right to follow their conscience. They must be Muslims, without considering other faiths and making an actual choice in the matter.
  • Muslim women lose basic rights. Under Sharia, Muslim women are treated as minors their whole lives, and worse. They are always under the protection of their fathers, brothers, husbands and/or sons. They may be married off at a very young age, even before puberty, with no say. Their testimony counts as half that of a Muslim man’s in court. Their inheritance is half that of a Muslim man’s. They can only prove rape with four pious male witnesses; otherwise, to allege rape could get them punished for illicit sex, which is the woman’s fault. There’s no such thing as rape in the context of marriage. Wife-beating is clearly sanctioned in the Koran. A man can divorce his wife by saying “I divorce you”, in which case he has custody rights; a woman cannot divorce her husband. Although it is legal, at least in some circumstances, for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman, the reverse is not legal. Abortion is most likely illegal. Then there’s the headscarf (burqa, hijab, et al), which may seem like the least of their worries, but under Sharia it can be a symbol of Islamic domination of women.
  • Gay Muslims lose basic rights. In the West, reasonable people may disagree on what rights specifically gays should have; gays themselves disagree over this question. However, we can all come together in agreement that they should not be killed. This is not true under Sharia.

In addition to the four ways Muslims are victimized by Sharia I’ve listed above, I believe there’s also another way Muslims are harmed by Sharia. This is a subjective opinion, for which there is no proof, nor can there be. I believe that spiritually, Muslims are harmed if they support a system that harms others. So, all the Sharia provisions that discriminate against non-Muslims are spiritually harmful to Muslims who support Sharia. As I said, this is an opinion for which I have no proof, nor will I make any effort to defend it; it’s up to the reader to agree or disagree as a matter of conscience.

If you don’t want Sharia, take a stand against it!

Organize against Sharia. The Islamists are very well organized and well funded. They like to give the impression that they represent all Muslims, including you. Therefore, the more Muslims there are in a country, the more power Islamist groups claim. The very fact that you are a Muslim gives Islamist groups more power, even if you disagree with everything they say, unless you organize against them.

A good start would be to join an anti-Sharia, pro-freedom organization such as American Islamic Forum for Democracy. The more members they have, the more power they have.

Take a stand against every imposition of Sharia, from hate speech laws banning criticism of Islam to laws requiring special accommodation for Muslim sensibilities. The forces pushing for Sharia want the whole ball of Sharia wax, and will not stop with a few measures. In the beginning stages, Islamists push forward laws which put Islam on a level higher than other religions, to create a consciousness of Islamic superiority; however, don’t be lulled into complacency by measures that seem to benefit Muslims. Once Islam is established as superior and Sharia as a source of law, from there the Islamists are in a position to implement the rest of Sharia, a bit at a time.

Speak out anonymously on the internet. You are in a unique position to damage the Islamists’ talking points by pointing out the fact that Sharia victimizes Muslims, too, not just non-Muslims. If Muslims do not speak out against Sharia, some non-Muslims begin to say, “Well, if they really want Sharia, we could just give them Sharia.” (I suggest doing a little research into internet privacy to protect yourself before launching in.)

One thing you may already be aware of: taking steps to oppose Sharia is not necessarily good for your health. Many who do so receive occasional or constant death threats. However, giving in to fear tactics would not make the problem go away–it would only get worse. It’s up to everyone who values freedom, regardless of our religions, to find ways of opposing Sharia that have risk levels we can live with.


Can We Believe What Muslims Say About Sharia and Jihad?

February 19, 2008

The answer is: sometimes. The challenge is that we know deception is a part of the ideologies of Sharia and Jihad, and an integral part of Islamists’ game plan in dealing with non-Muslims.

Examples of Islamists using Deception (”Taqiyya”)

A Sunday Times reporter in Britain infiltrated the Savior Sect, a group which encourages hatred and violence. According to the Times Online article, the sect’s leader, Omar Bakri Mohammed, condemned the killing of all innocent civilians when giving public interviews. “Later when he addressed his own followers he explained that he had in fact been referring only to Muslims as only they were innocent: ‘Yes I condemn killing any innocent people, but not any kuffar.’” “Kuffar” is the plural form of “kafir”, a derogatory term for unbeliever, which is also used in the Quran.

Notice that Bakri was using a deceptive meaning of “innocent” rather than outright lying. Islamists sometimes intentionally use words like “innocent”, “peace”, and “terrorist” with a very different meaning from that of their listeners.

According to the Israeli National News, senior Hamas leaders have said, in effect, “We’re allowed to lie.” They explained, “A Muslim is permitted to say things that oppose his beliefs in order to prevent damages or to be saved from death.” According to INN, “Senior Hamas terrorists in Samaria, who were recently released from jail, publicly expressed disapproval with the Hamas takeover of Gaza and said they supported the PA forces. [Other senior Hamas leaders] explained that the Samarian terrorists’ announcement was not a sign of dissent within Hamas ranks, but rather a permitted use of ‘taqiyya’ to deceive Abbas and avoid prison sentences.”

In his article, The Development of a Jihadi’s Mind, former Jihadist turned reformer Tawfiq Hamid gives several examples of taqiyya practiced and encouraged by Jamaah Islamiyah, an Islamic organization which is now considered to be a terrorist organization:

“Salafi Islamic texts demonstrate Mohammed’s uncompromising nature…. They encourage devout Muslims to emulate the Prophet’s deeds and to accept and defend his actions in even the harshest passages. When confronted by outsiders, however, these same Muslims insist that such stories are misinterpreted because they are taken out of context—though they rarely, if ever, provide the context. This self-protective denial effectively paralyzes further criticism by the West. Meanwhile, these texts are taught and understood in a very literal way by both the young members of Jamaah and many other Muslims.”

“Among the more appalling notions [Salafi ideology] supports are the enslavement and rape of female war prisoners and the beating of women to discipline them. It permits polygamy and pedophilia. It refers to Jews as “pigs and monkeys” and exhorts believers to kill them before the end of days….Homosexuals are to be killed as well….

“These doctrines are not taken out of context, as many apologists for Islamism argue: they are central to the faith and ethics of millions of Muslims, and are currently being taught as part of the standard curriculum in many Islamic educational systems in the Middle East as well in the West. Moreover, there is no single approved Islamic textbook that contradicts or provides an alternative to the passages I have cited.”

“Muslims who live in the West—who insist to outsiders that Islam is a “religion of peace” and who enjoy freedom of expression, which they demand from their Western hosts—have threatened me with murder and arson.”

So, it is evident that many Islamists believe it furthers their aims to deceive non-Muslims by pretending Islam is peaceful when they really don’t believe it is. At the same time, there may also be some who claim Islam is peaceful and really believe it. Then there may also be some who think if they pretend Islam is peaceful, that will make it come true. However, even if they are sincere or well-intentioned, those who deny Islam’s violent and oppressive doctrines are doing the Islamists’ work for them by fooling the gullible West who wants to think well of Islam, despite the evidence. We need to understand Islam as it is, not as we wish it were. Muslims who wish Islam were peaceful need to reform it by addressing its problematic aspects. Living in a make-believe world won’t help.

What Is the Islamic Basis for Taqiyya?

Sunnis (the majority sect) will often say taqiyya is a Shia doctrine, ignoring the support for deception in Sunni hadith and law. As Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch notes, taqiyya is even practiced on the subject of taqiyya. The examples given above (Savior Sect, Hamas, and Jamaah Islamiyah) are, to the best of my knowledge, all Sunni.

Here are three examples from the Quran which excuse dishonesty:

Quran 3:28: “Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.” This means Muslims can only be friends with unbelievers as a means to defend against them, which is not sincere friendship. Muslim commentator Ibn Kathir explains: “[When believers fear for their safety from disbelievers], such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly.”

Quran 16:106: “Any one who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief,- except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith – but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.” So, it’s fine to deny belief under compulsion.

Quran 2:225: “Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.” So it does not bother Allah if Muslims make oaths thoughtlessly. Along these lines, in a Hadith recorded by Bukhari, Mohammed says, “…if ever I take an oath to do something, and later on I find that it is more beneficial to do something different, I will do the thing which is better, and give expiation for my oath”. I have found nearly identical statements in 11 additional Bukhari Hadith, as well.

According to several Hadith recorded by Bukhari, Mohammed said “War is deceit”.

Also from Bukhari, Muhammed gave permission for his follower to tell a lie in order to assassinate a critic.

In three Muslim Hadith, Mohammed gives three exceptions to the rule of telling the truth: in battle, to bring about reconcilliation in general, and to bring about reconcilliation between husband and wife.

Taqiyya also has some support from Islamic Law. In Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, (pgs. 744-748) we find a paragraph explaining that lying is prohibited, followed by four pages on “Permissible Lying”, Exaggeration”, and “Giving a Misleading Impression”. Here are some quotes: “…Imam Abu Hamid Ghazali…says: ‘Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible, and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory….But it is religiously more precautionary…to employ words that give a misleading impression….[I]f a ruler asks one about a wicked act one has committed that is solely between oneself and Allah Most High… one is entitled to disclaim it….’” “Scholars say that there is no harm…in giving a misleading impression if required by an interest countenanced by Sacred Law that is more important than not misleading the person being addressed, or if there is a pressing need which could not otherwise be fulfilled except through lying.”

So, according to this source, it’s obligatory for Muslims to lie in order to accomplish an obligatory goal that could not be accomplished truthfully. And what are some obligatory goals? According to Reliance (pg. 600), “Jihad is a communal obligation…” (emphasis added). In addition, we know that the goal of Jihad is to impose worldwide Sharia, so it follows that Sharia is also an abligatory goal. Since both Jihad and Sharia are considered obligatory, it follows that lying about them to non-Muslims would be obligatory if they could not be accomplished truthfully, according to the rules spelled out in Reliance.

This does not mean that all Muslims are liars. However, it does mean that Muslims who take Islamic Law seriously could very well believe that lying to non-Muslims about Jihad and Sharia is justified. This is why it’s important to check multiple sources, including not just supporters but also critics of Islam, and see who has the evidence to back up their position.


Is It Responsible to Anger the Muslim World?

February 14, 2008

Geert Wilder, leader of the Freedom Party in Holland, is planning on releasing a film called “Fitna” which is expected to be met with great outrage from the Muslim world. Given our experience with recent outrages, it is even likely that innocent people may die. So, the question is, is it responsible to release a film which many people believe will set off a violent reaction from Muslims?

Let’s look back in history for a moment. It could be argued that abolitionists’ criticism of slavery in the US was a major factor leading to the Civil War. Does this mean the abolishionists should not have spoken out against slavery?

Without having the opportunity to see the film as yet, my opinion is that so long as the film states facts and/or opinions that are grounded in facts or logic, and the film does not call for violence against innocent people, then it is responsible to release it, regardless of the consequences. In fact, if the Muslim world responds violently to honest criticism, this is evidence that Islam deserves criticism and should be criticized even more. We should then be seriously analyzing the question, “What causes these people to act in such an infantile manner?”

What would really be irresponsible would be for us to allow fear of violence to condition us to submit to fascist Islamic doctrines rather than speak out against them.

If we don’t give the Muslim world enough provocations to outrage them, they will fabricate their own.

[Note: I read this idea in an opinion piece recently, but was unable to find the posting to give credit for the idea. If anyone supplies the “missing link”, I will add it.] The power brokers in the Muslim world evidently want to provoke outrage amongst their people, because otherwise why would they fabricate outrages that did not otherwise exist? Here are three concrete examples in which this actually has or does occur: the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Al Dura film, and the Mohammed cartoon controversy.

Protocols of the Elders of Zion: This is a thoroughly-exposed forgery of an alleged plot by Jews to take over the world. Originating in Russia in the late 19th century, most of it is plagiarized from an obscure French satire. However, it has been translated into Arabic and is widely disseminated throughout the Middle East today, used to fan the flames of Jew hatred.

Al Dura film: This film supposedly shows a Palestinian boy killed by Israelis, but there is good reason to believe that not only this film, but a great deal of Middle Eastern journalism, is fake. This phony event has been the rallying cry for the “al-Aqsa intifada”. However, it appears this bloody intifada was not a spontaneous uprising, but an orchestrated affair.

Mohammed cartoon controversy: Nearly everyone knows about this controversy, in which more than a hundred were killed in murderous Muslim riots following the printing of cartoons of Mohammed in a small Dutch paper. However, many are unaware that the Middle Eastern press who reprinted these cartoons about six months after the fact included an additional three cartoons, which were much more inflammatory than the ones actually published in Denmark. It appears that the Muslim mobs were deliberately enraged by people who didn’t think the real cartoons would be enough to do the job.

We should be asking ourselves, “What motivates the Muslim elite to intentionally and deceptively provoke their people?” Hint: It could have something to do with an Islamist agenda.

Is there any benefit to the West in provoking the Muslim world?

If the source of the provocation is honest criticism of Islam or Islamic doctrines, then yes, there is a benefit. In fact, this is the difference between the provocations that are fabricated by the Muslim power brokers and the ones that are generated by honest criticism by Westerners: the fabricated provocations have zero potential of benefiting the West. Honest criticism has the potential to defeat Islamo-Fascism, with much less violence than defeating it militarily. Here’s how:

  • It has the potential of influencing more Muslims to seek ways to reform their faith, or reform more effectively, or leave Islam altogether. This reduces the support within the Muslim world for the doctrines of Jihad and Sharia.
  • It has the potential of reducing conversions of non-Muslims to Islam. This is a huge benefit, as Western converts are targeted by terrorist recruiters.
  • It has the potential of increasing support for policies necessary to defeat Islamo-Fascism, such as: a Constitutional amendment explicitly stating that Sharia is not a valid source of law in the country; halting or drastically reducing immigration from Muslim countries; deporting Muslims who advocate Jihad or Sharia; allowing mosques and Islamic centers to be monitored; reversing the infiltration of Islamists into sensitive positions; and having a no-nonsense policy to prevent the spread of Islamism in prisons.

The more the “battlefield” can be shifted to the realm of ideas rather than the realm of military, the less violence there will be in the long run. It would be nice to have zero violence, but we do not have that choice available to us. A murderous rampage in the Muslim world may claim 100 lives; a change in policy to curb Jihad in the West may save 100,000 lives or more in the long run. No one really knows what the numbers would be one way or the other; we don’t get to do things twice to see how they play out. However, it appears certain that the casualties are less if we meet the Islamists and the apologists point for point where they are weakest: their ideology.

Is it important to avoid gratuitous insults?

A “gratuitous insult” is a statement that is more inflammatory than necessary to convey the truth or make a point. It is intentional rudeness.

I believe that, yes, it is important to avoid gratuitous insults. That is why I avoid them on this site. However, I do not shy away from telling the truth as I see it. For example, I have alluded to the fact that the Hadith and Sira include several accounts of Mohammed marrying a child (consummating the marriage at the age of 9 or 10). However, I have not labeled Mohammed a “pedophile”. This may seem like a fine line, but it’s the line I draw. I feel that the term “pedophile” is gratuitously insulting, while a dispassionate statement of facts is necessary for people to understand an uncomfortable truth that is relevant to a discussion of Islam. This is a fact that is embarrassing to Muslims, but that does not make it irrelevant, especially since child brides are all too common in the Muslim world today, including Muslims living within the West.

My reasons for avoiding gratuitous insults is not that I believe they are wrong, it’s that I believe they are ineffective. They turn people off who otherwise might be interested in what I have to say. In addition, they cause emotional hurt with no benefit. And besides that, I simply prefer a less inflammatory style.

However, others disagree with me about rudeness. Like it or not, it is common in ordinary political discourse for people to insult those with whom they disagree, or to use “strong language”. Islam has a political side, so the same rules of political discourse that apply to other political schools of thought should also apply to Islam. Just because Muslims or others dislike a person’s style of communicating does not mean that person should be hushed up, and it does not mean their point of view is invalid. Sometimes people make some good points impolitely. So, while I do think it’s important to avoid gratuitous insults, there are many things that are more important than that, such as learning the truth about Islam and Islamic doctrines.


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