Is an Apostasy Movement a Viable Option against Islamo-Fascism?

January 28, 2008

There are enormous obstacles to apostasy (leaving the religion) in Islam. Some ex-Muslims say that in retrospect, their indoctrination into Islam was so intense, leaving it was akin to leaving a cult. This is not intended as a gratuitous insult; there are very real parallels between Islam and cults explained here, and these parallels are highly relevant to the subject of apostasy.

Punishments in this life:

As previously discussed, apostates may live in fear of being killed; some live with constant death threats. Those who are not killed may be treated as a sub-human by Muslims. They may be shunned by the Muslim community, which is a problem if all their family and friends are Muslim, and if there are no employment options with non-Muslims in their area. They may not inherit property from Muslim family members.

Punishments in the next:

Although the punishments for apostasy in this life are draconian, some say the threats of punishment in the afterlife are enough to give a Muslim a full-fledged phobia of even considering leaving Islam.

Former Jihadist turned reformer Tawfiq Hamid has assembled a list of Quran verses that describe punishment in the afterlife in Appendix A of his article, The Development of a Jihadi’s Mind. This is Hamid’s translation (I have compared it with some standard translations and find the meaning to be comparable, yet there are some differences. If you wish to compare for yourself, click the links following each verse):

  • “[…]For those who do not follow Allah garments of fire shall be cut out for them (in the life to come); burning water will be poured over their heads causing all that is within their bodies, as well as the skins, to melt away. And they shall be held by iron grips; and every time they try in their anguish to come out of it, they shall be returned there to and (be told): “Taste suffering through fire (to the full)!” Quran 22:19-22
  • “But those of the left hand (did not obey Allah and Mohammed or follow them)—how unhappy those of the left hand. They will be in the scorching hot wind and boiling water, under the shadow of thick black smoke, neither cool nor agreeable. …They will be gathered together on a certain day which is predetermined. Then you, the erring and the deniers will eat Zaqum (a thorny tree), fill your bellies with it, and drink scalding water, lapping it up like female camels raging of thirst and disease. Such will be their entertainment, their welcome on the Day of Doom … the welcome of boiling water and the entertainment of roasting in Hell. This is the ultimate truth.” Quran 56:41-57
  • “For We have truly made it as a trial to torment the disbelievers. Zaqumis a horrible thorn tree that grows in Hell. The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils. Truly they (the non-Muslims) will eat it and fill their bellies with it. On top of that they will be given a mixture made of boiling water to drink especially prepared. Then they shall be returned to the Blazing Fire.” Quran 37:63-68
  • “Soon will I fling them into the burning Hell Fire! And what will explain what Hell Fire is? It permits nothing to endure, and nothing does it spare! It darkens and changes the color of man, burning the skin! It shrivels and scorches men.” Quran 74:26-29
  • “We have prepared the doom of Hell and the penalty of torment in the most intense Blazing Fire. For those who reject their Lord is the punishment of Hell: Evil, it is such a wretched destination. When they are flung therein, they will hear the terrible drawing in of their breath and loud moaning even as the flame blazes forth, roaring with rage as it boils up, bursting with fury. Every time a fresh crowd is cast in, Hell’s wardens will ask, ‘Did no Warner come to you?” Quran 67:6-8
  • “‘This,’ it will be said, ‘is the Fire, which you used to deny! Is this magic fake? Burn therein, endure the heat; taste it. It’s the same whether you bear it patiently, or not. This is My retaliation for what you did.” Quran 52:14-16
  • “[…]Those who shall dwell forever in the Fire are given to drink boiling water that tears their bowels to pieces, and cutting their intestines to shreds.” Quran 47:15

To non-Muslims, these verses may just sound like a bad horror flick, but remember, most Muslims really believe this stuff. In addition to the graphic quality of certain verses, this torturous punishment is also an extremely pervasive theme of the Quran. A search reveals that 644 of the 6236 verses contain the words “doom”, “punishment”, “hell” and/or “fire”. Flipping through them, it appears that not all but most of the 644 are referring to the afterlife. Also, there are verses which specifically mention how despicable apostates are (2:217, 4:89).

Naturally, we can also count on the Hadith to supply even more examples of a painful afterlife, such as corpses being tortured in the grave. Although threats for punishment in the next life are found in other religions as well, these are arguably more graphic, ominous, and pervasive than those found in other holy books. Fear appears to be a major factor in preventing Muslims from leaving Islam.

Other obstacles

In addition to fear, there are other obstacles, as well. Muslims are conditioned to have an aversion to non-Muslims, taught that they are “unclean”, “cursed by Allah”, and so forth. Muslims are taught to avoid friendships with non-Muslims. Muslims are taught to reject any information that contradicts Islam without even considering it. Muslims are encouraged to sacrifice their own desires and, indeed, their individual identity, for the sake of Islam. (In each case above, by “Muslims” I mean “many if not most Muslims”.)

Apostates are already in danger just for leaving their faith, but the danger factor looms even larger for those who have a mission of bringing more Muslims with them into the world of apostasy. Many apostates do not even tell their friends and family they have left Islam, but communicate anonymously over the internet, instead. The non-Muslim world owes a huge debt of gratitude to these heros.

Political correctness is another obstacle, coming from non-Muslims, of all places. It could be considered politically incorrect to even examine the possibility of an apostasy movement. However, if it is acceptable for members of religions to express what they believe and try to convince others to join them, why would it not be acceptable for apostates to do the same, especially when the apostates’ beliefs could be an antidote for Islamo-Fascism?

Can these obstacles be overcome?

A growing number of people are indeed overcoming these obstacles, and are helping others to do so. If enough people leave Islam, the problematic Islamic doctrines go away.

Muslims may view apostasy as turning their backs on their heritage, but it could also be reclaiming a pre-Islamic heritage that had been taken from them. Based on what we know about Islamic conquest, it is likely that most Muslims today have one or more ancestors who suffered at the hands of the Islamic warriors.

Imagine the plight of Muslims’ pre-Islamic ancestors. They may have been killed outright, their children sold into slavery. They may have been given the two choices of conversion or death, or more commonly the three choices of conversion, dhimmitude (severe underclass status), or death. They may have been women who, as prisoners of war, found their prior marriages instantly dissolved, and found that their captors could legally have sex with them (legal rape). They may have been born as a dhimmi, and then found themselves unable to pay the jizya tax, and thus forced to convert to Islam. They may have sacrificed their own conscience so that they and their progeny could at least survive, because with survival there’s still hope. Depending on their circumstances, they may or may not have been aware that all their descendants would be required to be unquestioningly Muslim, and even be taught to hate their ancestors from the “jahiliyya” (pre-Islamic age of ignorance).

Of course, we all have ancestors who were barbarous murderers and rapists or victims thereof, if we go back far enough. The difference is that we do not all support the belief system that caused this barbarity. Muslims who support the ideologies of Jihad and Sharia do so, even if unwittingly.

To gain a sense of their roots, some apostates investigate their ancestors’ religion, which may or may not appeal to them. But even if it doesn’t, exercising freedom of conscience and choosing ones own religion can be a way of honoring ancestors who were not allowed that choice.

Can an apostasy movement succeed? The obstacles are huge, but anything is possible. Today’s Islamic apostasy movement uses non-violent means of disproving tenets of Islam, with the hope of minimizing the violence and oppression that seem inevitable if Islamo-Fascism were to continue on its present course. Let’s hope they succeed. The non-Muslim world should be supporting the apostasy movement big time.


Can and Should Islam Be Reformed? Part II: The Hadith

January 19, 2008

This is the second installment of a seven part series, examining the challenges, as I see them, and potential solutions, for reforming Islam. I would consider a reform to be meaningful and successful if it resulted in Islam as a personal religion (just a way of relating with God, with no fascist doctrines); if it offered persuasive, comprehensive, and truthful challenges to the version of Islam put forward by the Islamists; and if it became the prevailing view among Muslims.

Challenge: The Hadith. The Hadith (technically, the plural is “Ahadith”) are oral traditions about the sayings and actions of Mohammed. There are thousands of Hadith, organized into collections. Six of these collections (Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasai, Ibn Majah, and Abu Dawood) are considered “authentic” in Sunni tradition, and are generally considered synonymous with the “Sunnah”, which means “the way of the Prophet”. About 85% of Muslims are “Sunni”, which word comes from “Sunnah”. The Shia have their Hadith, as well.

The Quran contains no biographical information about Mohammed, although it says the Messenger (Mohammed) is a good example for believers (33:21). Muslims can only find out what Mohammed’s example was through the Hadith and Sira (see Part III). In addition, the Quran gives little or no context for its verses. Again, this context has traditionally been supplied by the Hadith and Sira.

Technically, a Hadith cannot be considered to be authentic if it contradicts the Quran (although many Hadith in the authenticated collections actually do so, such as the ones attributing miracles to Mohammed). However, there are many Hadith that have been used to develop the doctrines of Sharia and Jihad. For example, the Quran has no explicit command to kill apostates, although several verses hint at it. The Hadith, on the other hand, are very explicit on the subject, and have been relied on as source material for that ruling. Here are two examples (there are also others):

Narrated Abu Burda: “….Mu’adh asked, “Who is this (man)?” Abu Muisa said, “He was a Jew and became a Muslim and then reverted back to Judaism.” Then Abu Muisa requested Mu’adh to sit down but Mu’adh said, “I will not sit down till he has been killed. This is the judgment of Allah and His Apostle (for such cases) and repeated it thrice. Then Abu Musa ordered that the man be killed, and he was killed….” (Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 84, Number 58)

Narrated ‘Ikrima: Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to ‘Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'” (Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57)

There are many other examples of undesirable behavior sanctioned by the Hadith, including:

Wife beating:
“Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab: The Prophet…said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.” (Abu Dawood, Book 11, Number 2142)

Torture: “Anas reported: Eight men…killed the shepherd and drove away the camels. This (news) reached Allah’s Messenger…and he sent them on their track and they were caught and brought to him (the Holy Prophet). He commanded about them, and (thus) their hands and feet were cut off and their eyes were gouged and then they were thrown in the sun, until they died.” (Muslim, Book 016, Number 4131)

Killing Critics: “It has been narrated on the authority of Jabir that the Messenger of Allah…said: Who will kill Ka’b b. Ashraf? He has maligned Allah, the Exalted, and His Messenger. Muhammad b. Maslama said: Messenger of Allah, do you wish that I should kill him? He said: Yes. He said: Permit me to talk (to him in the way I deem fit). He said: Talk (as you like). So, Muhammad b. Maslama came to Ka’b and talked to him, referred to the old friendship between them….So when [Ka’b] came down and he was holding his cloak under his arm, they said to him: We sense from you a very fine smell. He said: Yes, I have with me a mistress who is the most scented of the women of Arabia. He said: Allow me to smell (the scent on your head). He said: Yes, you may smell. So he caught it and smelt. Then he said: Allow me to do so (once again). He then held his head fast and said to his companions: Do your job. And they killed him.” (Muslim, Book 019, Number 4436)

What can overcome this challenge?

The Hadith would be easier to throw out than the Quran, and some reformers advocate following the Quran only. However, to disavow the Hadith would mean that the Quran has no context, and little or nothing is known about Mohammed. It would seem that to throw out the Hadith and Sira would be to essentially throw out Mohammed, which I’m not personally averse to, although Muslims may be. The other alternative would be to create a new fairy tale about Mohammed, either by picking and choosing from the Hadith or pulling it out of thin air. It seems it would be hard to convincingly present this as more authentic than the current version, however.

For those who do want to throw out the Hadith, analysis of their origins gives supportive evidence. Various scholars have called the authenticity of numerous Hadith into question. Goldziher, for example, has demonstrated that a great number of Hadith were complete fabrications. And, so far as I know, none of the Hadith are conclusively confirmed by non-Muslim sources.

Part III of this series will examine the Sira.

Part I: The Quran
Part II: The Hadith
Part III: The Sira
Part IV: Sharia
Part V: Historical Evidence
Part VI: Muslim Culture
Part VII: Conclusions
Overview


What is a “real Muslim”?

January 4, 2008

Who is excluded from any group helps define who is included. We can gain an insight into the orthodox meaning of a “Muslim” by taking a look at what defines a person who has left Islam, according to Islamic Law (Sharia). This is also essential for understanding the basics of Islamo-Fascism. There are Muslims who do not subscribe to the orthodox view; but substantial numbers, probably more than half of Muslims worldwide, do. I’m defining orthodox as believing the Quran was written word-for-word and letter-by-letter by Allah; believing Mohammed was a superior human worthy of emulating; believing in the authenticated Hadith (traditions) and the Sira (early biographies); and believing in the ijma (consensus) of mujtahedin (great scholars) of Sharia. Many Muslims who are orthodox by that definition are unaware of the full implications of accepting that list of doctrines.

My source text for this article is from Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, 1994 Revised Edition. This manual represents the Shafi’i school (and it’s worth noting that all four schools agree on 75% of their rulings, according to the introduction to Reliance of the Traveller). Dr. Taha Jabir al-‘Alwani, President of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and President of the Fiqh Council of North America, writes “There is no doubt that this translation is a valuable and important work, whether as a textbook for teaching Islamic jurisprudence to English-speakers, or as a legal reference for use by scholars, educated laymen, and students in this language….In view of the utility of this eminent work of Islamic jurisprudence and its rank among well known standard Shafi’i legal texts, its translation into English is regarded as a useful, auspicious step….” The book is certified by the prestigious al-Azhar University, whose certification states: “…we certify that the above-mentioned translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community.”

In addition, the editors had the option to omit anything they felt was not pertinent information for our times. The introduction states that “rulings about matters now rare or nonexistent have been left untranslated unless interesting for some other reason.” For example, rulings on slavery have been left untranslated (even though slavery and near-slavery are still practiced in parts of the Muslim world.) Additionally, Muslim reviewers of the book on Amazon.com generally find the book to be of practical use.

Reliance of the Traveller lists 20 “Acts that entail leaving Islam” (pgs. 596-598), while mentioning that “There are others, for the subject is nearly limitless.” I’ll be discussing five of these 20 acts:

  • Act that entails leaving Islam: “(7) to deny any verse of the Koran or anything which by scholarly consensus…belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it….”

So, Islamic Law mandates acceptance of every verse of the Quran. Anyone who denies “any verse” is an apostate. Picking and choosing the desirable verses is not good enough. Here is a small sampling of the verses which a Muslim is not allowed to deny, according to Sharia [bracketed words added by me for clarity]:

“Fighting is enjoined on you, and is an object of dislike to you; and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.” (2:216)

“Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.” (4:34)

“Say: O followers of the Book! do you find fault with us (for aught) except that we believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed before, and that most of you are transgressors? Say: Shall I inform you of (him who is) worse than this in retribution from Allah? (Worse is he) whom Allah has cursed and brought His wrath upon, and of whom He made apes and swine, and he who served the Shaitan; these are worse in place and more erring from the straight path.” (5:59-60)

“So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (9:5)

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.” (9:29)

“Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.” (9:111)

“Indeed, there is for you a good example in Ibrahim and those with him when they said to their people: Surely we are clear of you and of what you serve besides Allah; we declare ourselves to be clear of you, and enmity and hatred have appeared between us and you forever until you believe in Allah alone– but not [a good example] in what Ibrahim said to his father: I would certainly ask forgiveness for you, and I do not control for you aught from Allah– Our Lord! on Thee do we rely, and to Thee do we turn, and to Thee is the eventual coming.” (60:4)

If you believe these verses could mean something drastically different from what they appear to mean, read here to find out how mainstream Muslim commentators have interpreted them.

  • Act that entails leaving Islam: “(14) to deny the obligatory character of something which by the consensus of Muslims (ijma…) is part of Islam, when it is well known as such, like the prayer (salat) or even one rak’a from one of the five obligatory prayers, if there is no excuse….”

This manual defines ijma: “Scholarly consensus (ijma’) is the agreement of all the mujtahids…of the Muslims existing at one particular period after the Prophet’s death…about a particular ruling regarding a matter or event….[T]he ruling agreed upon is an authoritative part of Sacred Law that is obligatory to obey and not lawful to disobey. Nor can mujtahids of a succeeding era make the thing an object of new ijtihad [expert legal opinion], because the ruling on it, verified by scholarly consensus, is an absolute legal ruling which does not admit of being contravened or annulled.” (pgs. 23-24) There are also specific conditions for ijma to be reached: that a number of mujtahids live concurrently, and that they all without exception agree on a conclusion which each expresses individually and explicitly.

So, it would seem that according to this manual, in order to be a Muslim, a person must support the ijma of mujtahedin. Excerpts from Islamic manuals indicate that this ijma includes: jihad, death penalty for apostates, lower-class (dhimmi) status for non-Muslims in a Muslim state, and more. To deny any one of these, according to this manual, would constitute apostasy. It is understandable that reform efforts within Islam have not succeeded in the past 1000 years.

  • Act that entails leaving Islam: “(17) to believe that things in themselves or by their own nature have any causal influence independent of the will of Allah….”

I have included this one to illustrate why the Islamic world has been in stagnation for about a millennium. While the Christian world embraced scientific principles and strove to discover natural laws, the Islamic world took the position that the concept of natural laws was blasphemous, because it meant that those natural laws ruled the universe rather than Allah. Recently, in a quick backpedal, Muslim apologists have been “discovering” that all of modern science is miraculously in the Quran, without providing any explanation for why Muslims are now learning science from non-Muslims. Despite the backpedalling on matters of science, Islam has somehow also retained the belief that Allah is micro-managing the universe, as shown by the frequent use of “Insha’Allah” (if Allah wills it). Nothing happens without Allah’s will.

  • Act that entails leaving Islam:“(20) … to deny that Allah intended the Prophet’s message…to be the religion followed by the entire world….”

Thus, to accept other religions or non-religion as equal to Islam is to be an apostate.

And what happens to apostates? According to this same manual, “There is no indemnity for killing an apostate (…or any expiation, since it is killing someone who deserves to die).” (pg. 596) In fact, there is an Islamic practice of “takfir” which means declaring a Muslim to be an apostate. This is often used by Jihadists as an excuse to kill Muslims. It’s against Islamic Law for a Muslim to kill another Muslim, but if the intended victim is declared an apostate, suddenly it’s legal. This is what happened to Rashad Khalifa in Tucson, Arizona, who was declared to be an apostate and assassinated.

However, before rushing off to pronounce takfir on someone, it would be good to also be aware of another way to become an apostate:

  • Act that entails leaving Islam: “(13) to describe a Muslim or someone who wants to become a Muslim in terms of unbelief (kufr)….”

So, if Muslim A declares Muslim B to be a disbeliever, but Muslim B is in fact a believer, then Muslim A has, presto chango, made himself an unbeliever.

Given the importance of being correct when pronouncing takfir, a Muslim’s willingness to do so is a good indication of his confidence in his position. Pronouncing takfir is also a way of marking the “line in the sand” between who is a Muslim and who is not. For this reason, it is not a good sign that currently, the most noticeable group who uses takfir to define Islam is the Islamists.

What would let us know the Muslim world no longer advocated fascist doctrines?

One indication that Islam has been successfully reformed and lost its fascist edge would be if and when the following acts would cause a person to be declared an apostate by all Muslim religious authorities, and all Muslim organizations would declare the following acts to be “un-Islamic”:

  • to express the belief that violent Jihad can ever, under any circumstances, be justified;
  • to express the belief that there should be any penalty whatsoever for apostates, heretics, or critics of Islam;
  • to express the belief that non-Muslims or women should be treated differently from Muslim men under the law;
  • to express the belief that every verse of the Quran (in its traditionally accepted interpretations) must be believed and taken literally as the word of Allah;
  • to express the belief that Mohammed’s actions, as recorded in the Sira and Sunnah, are to be emulated;
  • to express the belief that Islamic law should rule any land.

As I’ve never heard of any one of these acts causing a fatwa of takfir by any prominent group of clerics, I’m not expecting this transformation to happen this week, and perhaps not ever.


Resources for Further Study of Sharia, Islam and Jihad

December 18, 2007

If you want to look further into Sharia, as well as the closely related topics of Islam and Jihad, here are some recommendations.

Ex-Muslim Sites Opposed to Sharia

First, here’s a general comment about ex-Muslim sites. As we’ve discussed, many Muslims believe ex-Muslims should be killed. For this and other reasons, many ex-Muslims are very angry at Islam. They also are among those who understand Islam the best, from the inside. These sites are a tremendous resource, but be prepared for strong language.

Faith Freedom. This is among the best-known of the apostate sites, run by the famous Ali Sina. It includes articles, a lively forum, one-on-one debates, and more.

Islam Watch. This site also includes a great deal of information, including a whole section of online books.

Apostates of Islam. This site comes from a humanist perspective.

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. This is a political activist group with specific human-rights goals, listed on their Manifesto. These types of organizations are springing up all over Europe. We hope they reach their goals, and we also hope the United States prevents some of the issues they are having to address in Europe.

Wafa Sultan famously said on Al Jazeera TV that the world is not witnessing a clash of religions or cultures, but a battle between modernity and barbarism. She is interviewed here.

Muslim Sites Opposed to Sharia

Irshad Manji. Author of the book, The Problem With Islam Today, Irshad Manji is calling for Muslims to open the gates of ijtihad.

Muslims Against Sharia. This group is truly looking their religion square in the eye and is willing to do whatever it takes to remove the objectionable portions, even if it means removing a few hundred verses of the Quran.

19.org. This site was founded by Edip Yuksel, a former student of Dr. Rashad Khalifa, who founded the Submitters sect and discovered a preponderance of the number 19 in the Quran. Khalifa was assassinated by a Muslim for apostasy and heresy.

American Islamic Forum for Democracy. This is a membership organization that makes a stand against Sharia in the United States. Among their stated goals and beliefs, they recognize no clergy in Islam.

Muslim Canadian Congress. This is a membership organization committed to a secular Canada.

Non-Muslim Sites Opposed to Sharia

Answering Islam. This is a Christian site with a wealth of information, including an A-Z index on Islam.

Jihad Watch. This website is directed by Robert Spencer, expert on Islam and Jihad and author of numerous well-documented books on those subjects. This site will keep you up to date regarding Jihad worldwide.

Dhimmi Watch. Another site directed by Robert Spencer, this one focuses on the creeping condition of “dhimmitude”, in which non-Muslims take on a subservient, second-class role relative to Muslims.

Blogging the Quran. This is Robert Spencer’s ongoing blog which covers the mainstream Muslim commentators and their interpretations of the Quran. If you have any interest in studying the Quran, this is a great tool, because you will find out what authoritative Muslims have said on the subject. Blogging the Quran is hosted by HotAir.com.

Mapping Sharia Project. This is a group who are gathering intelligence about the 4500 Islamic Centers across the United States. They intend to provide information to law enforcement and the public regarding which Islamic centers promote Sharia, and therefore Jihad. Although I put this in the non-Muslim section, their group includes Muslims as well.

Middle East Forum. This site is directed by Daniel Pipes, a Middle East specialist who promotes US interests in the Middle East. The Middle East Forum has a special section called “Islamist Watch”, which focuses on “Lawful Islamism”.

Sons of Apes and Pigs. The name of this site refers to the Quran’s description of Allah transforming a group of Jews into apes and pigs (2:65, 5:60, 7:166). To this day, some Muslims believe that Jews and/or Christians are the sons of apes and pigs. This site was established by Egyptian Coptic Christians, who know about dhimmitude first-hand.

Political Islam is specifically focused on the dangers of Sharia and Jihad. Their unique approach is to study the foundational Islamic texts using a statistical analysis. In addition to a series of articles, they also have published a number of books explaining Islam from their viewpoint.

The Religion of Peace offers news and information, and has a special feature of a running count of deadly Islamic terror attacks since 9/11. Last I checked, it was up over 10,000.

Islamist Watch has a fantastic resource of quotes from Islamists, as well as a nice introduction to what an Islamist is.

Dhimmitude.org offers a great selection of articles on the subject of non-Muslims subjugated under Muslim rule and forced to live as a persecuted underclass. This is what will happen to us all if the Islamists have their way. Site edited by Bat Ye’or, renowned researcher into the subject of dhimmitude.

Dhimmi.com is the site for a civil rights group, the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights. Members include, primarily, various religious minorities that suffer as dhimmis under Sharia law.

Andrew Bostom has written numerous books and articles about Islam. His blog is very informative, as well.

Deafening Silence is a liberal blog against Islamo-Fascism! I’m thrilled to find one. I have maintained that the threat of Islamo-Fascism is too important to be a wedge issue between liberals and conservatives. I believe that many, if not most, everyday liberals would be appalled to know the extent to which liberal leadership in academia, the media, and politics have already acquiesced to the Islamist agenda.

The Center for Vigilant Freedom is an international citizens’ network with over 1000 members who are working to defeat Jihad and Sharia and defend the West. They are associated with The 910 Group, a group of anti-Islamo-Fascism bloggers including Gates of Vienna.

Sites with No Clear Religious Identity Opposed to Sharia:

Secular Islam. I have been unable to confirm who is running this site, but I believe it’s a group of humanists. They promoted a Secular Islam Summit with a mix of ex-Muslim and Muslim speakers. This Summit met in St. Petersburg in 2007 and produced a manifesto, The St. Petersburg Declaration, which affirms specific secular ideals.

These sites can keep you up late for the foreseeable future, and there are more! [Last updated 02/14/08; I have moved this material to the “Resources” page accessible from the top menu, so I will no longer be updating it here.]


Do we already have Sharia law in the West?

December 17, 2007

The short answer is: Yes, we do.

The US Constitution, as well as Western principles of human rights, guarantees each individual the right to choose her religion and practice it openly. However, there are now people living in the West who are denied this right–not by the official law of the state, but by the Muslim law of the street. Here are some examples:

In England, Sophia Allam lives in hiding after her own father threatened to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity. Another woman, Hannah, has moved 45 times to escape her imam father and other family members who threatened to kill her. (Hannah and Sophia are using pseudonyms).

According to a survey done by Policy Exchange, 36 per cent of Muslims in Britain between the ages of 16 and 24 believe apostates should be killed. Since most Muslims have numerous young Muslims in their circle of family and friends, it is easy to see how this could have a chilling effect on Muslims who wish to leave Islam. For these Muslims, Sharia law is alive and well in Britain.

Also in the United States, ex-Muslims have to be careful for their lives. In 2004 in Falls Church, Virginia, a group of ex-Muslims met for a conference with registration and entrance under “tight security to protect the participants, many of whom say they face death threats or ostracism from their families for leaving the Islamic faith.” Conference presenters spoke only under false names.

A study of ex-Muslim websites will also show that ex-Muslims in the West do one or more of the following: keep a low profile (many do not even inform their families and friends they have left Islam); write under an assumed name; live in a secure, undisclosed location; hire security guards; and/or live with constant death threats. This is not due to religious persecution from the laws of the country in which they live. It’s due to the law of the Muslim street: Sharia.

The problem with Sharia in the West is not limited to punishing apostasy, but also includes punishing behaviors such as criticizing Islam, promoting “heresy” (also known as “reform” of Islam), and, for women in some parts of Europe, going out without a headscarf.

Some may say, “This is not a problem for me, because I’m not an ex-Muslim, I don’t know enough to criticize Islam, and I like headscarves, so who cares?” Indeed, who cares? Who cares if ex-Muslims and critics fear for their lives, and some women are bullied into adopting headgear? Who cares if we lose the rule of law, and instead have Islamic vigilantes in control? Well, here’s why everyone in the West should care: The Islamo-Fascists who want to impose Sharia on the world will never voluntarily stop. They see themselves as part of an ongoing 1400 year old struggle that will only end when Islam rules the world. Islamization is just getting started in the United States. We can look at Europe to see our future. Europeans can look to India to see what’s ahead for them. Indians can take a peek at Indonesia, Indonesians can have a glance at Egypt, and Egyptians can peer at Saudi Arabia. It isn’t pretty. It could take generations, but who would wish this on their grandchildren?

For all those who value the individual rights and freedoms we have had in the West, they are already slipping through our fingers. The question now is: How do we get them back? How do we enlist the help of Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims in the West who are personally opposed to Sharia to ban it both in theory and in practice? At least we know one thing that doesn’t work: ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away.