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by Peter Martino
April 16, 2012 at 5:00 am
Islamic countries have become more Islamic because of a deliberate policy that drives non-Muslims out; non-Islamic countries have become more Islamic because of a deliberate policy that invites Muslims in and ensures that they feel in no way hindered or upset.
Islam. the elephant in the room of European politicians on both the Left and the Right, recently became a concern again when French President Nicolas Sarkozy angered the family of Abel Chennouf -- a 25-year old corporal of the French army, who murdered by the terrorist Mohammed Merah because he was wearing a French army uniform -- by suggesting that Chennouf, a Catholic, was murdered because he "appeared to be a Muslim."
Chennouf and a colleague were shot by the Islamic jihadist,Mohammed Merah, in Montauban on March 15, four days before Merah assassinated a rabbi and three Jewish children in Toulouse. In an attempt to absolve Islam from having inspired Merah to commit his terrorist acts, Sarkozy tried to emphasize that some of Merah's victims were killed because they "looked like" Muslims.
In a radio interview on March 26, Sarkozy said: "I remind you that two of our soldiers were, how shall I put it, Muslims, in any case by appearance, as one of them was a Catholic, but by appearance [a Muslim]. One calls it 'visible diversity,'" presumably meaning that whoever does not look "French" or "European" must be Muslim.
Chennouf's family said they were appalled that the President had confounded religion with appearance. The President clearly knew that Abel Chennouf was not a Muslim, but a Christian of Moroccan origin. He implied nevertheless that Merah had killed Chennouf in an attempt to kill Muslims -- rather than French military personnel. In reality, Chennouf and his Muslim colleague, Mohammed Legouade, were killed because they were wearing French army uniforms and hence were perceived by Mohammed Merah as being at war with Islam.
The President deliberately presented Abel Chennouf as a Muslim victim of so-called Islamist violence to lend credibility to the claim that Islamism differs from Islam and is even inimical to Islam. Since 2008, when the British government decided to rename Islamic terrorism "anti-Islamic activity" to create the impression that Islamic jihadists are behaving contrary to Islam, rather than acting in the name of it, many European politicians have adopted this policy.
In truth, however, jihadists' actions are based on the admonitions found in the Koran and the Hadiths. The true face of Islam can also be seen in Morocco, the Chennouf family's country of origin. Both Christians and Jews are oppressed minorities in this supposedly pro-Western country. Today, only an estimated 50,000 Christians and 6,000 Jews are left in Morocco, which is but a tiny fraction of what their number used to be. In 1948, Morocco still boasted the highest number of Jews – over 250,000 – of the entire Arab world.
While the number of Muslims in France expanded from 200,000 in the 1940s to almost 5 million today, the Christian and Jewish populations in Northern Africa dwindled to near extinction. "Diversity" is clearly a one-way street. It increases in the West, but disappears in the Muslim world.
Islamic countries have become more exclusively Islamic because of a deliberate policy that drives the non-Muslims out; non-Islamic countries have also become more Islamic because of a policy that invites Muslims in and ensures that they feel in no way hindered or upset, even if entails that the President of France has to tell white lies on the radio. The Trojan horse of Islamization has been rolled into Europe, which is now revering it as the sacred cow of "diversity."
Immediately after Merah committed his crimes, at a moment when the identity of the culprit had not yet been revealed, the French media and leftist organizations speculated that the assassin was an indigenous blue-eyed French racist. The slogan of a multi-party protest demonstration against Merah's killings in Montauban and Toulouse read, "In France, they murder Jews, Blacks and Arabs." The Blacks and Arabs, however, like the Catholic Abel Chennouf, were murdered because they were wearing French army uniforms. To be correct the slogan would have read: "In France, jihadists murder Jews and Frenchmen." This, however, is considered so politically incorrect that no-one dares to utter it for fear of upsetting Muslims.
As everywhere in Western Europe, the French establishment adheres to a semi-official ideology which equates "Islamophobia" (as criticism of Islam is called) with "racism." Sarkozy's remark that Abel Chennouf, a French Catholic of Moroccan origin, was murdered because he was "a Muslim by appearance," and, hence, as an act of Islamphobia and racism, is in line with this ideology. For politicians such as Nicolas Sarkozy, the concept that Islam is at war with the West is simply inconceivable or too disturbing to address.
Nevertheless, Sarkozy is aware that the French electorate is worried about the open-border policies of the past decades which have allowed people like Merah to enter France. Instead of blaming the French political class for this open-border policies towards Islamic immigration, Sarkozy is blaming Europe.
On May 6, France will elect a new President. Sarkozy, who is running for reelection, has made the Schengen Agreement into a major campaign topic. The 1985 Schengen Agreement, named after the Franco-German-Luxembourgian border town where it was signed, created a European area, currently consisting of 26 countries, where people can travel freely with no internal border controls. It is the most tangible realization of the European Union's unification process.
Last week, Sarkozy's Foreign Minister Alain Juppé told The Financial Times that France considers pulling out of the Schengen zone in order to reclaim control over its own borders. Juppé said this was "an intellectual revolution" which had to be made. In the same move he said that the EU had to close its markets to countries which do not allow free access to European companies in return. Hans-Peter Friedrich, the German Interior Minister, also advocated amending the Schengen Treaty to be able to reinstall border controls between EU member states.
The whole debate is now focusing on Schengen -- restricting the free movement of people and goods between European states, hence on rolling back the whole process of European integration, rather than on confroting the danger of of large-scale Islamic immigration and the folly of promoting "diversity."
Mohammed Merah, however, did not enter France from Germany, Belgium, Greece or any other Schengen-zone country. He was the son of immigrants who entered France directly from Algeria. If France wishes to prevent atrocities like the killings committed by Mohammed Merah from happening again, France would do well to focus on the intolerant nature of Islam instead of focusing on its European borders and the concept of intra-European free travel and free trade. If it did so, it would realize that the richness of France's true diversity – which is apparent from indigenous secular, Christian or Jewish Frenchmen serving in the French Army alongside Blacks, Catholics of Moroccan origin and even people of Muslim origin – is being threatened by an ideology of "visible diversity" which lumps everyone who does not look "visibly French" or "European," into the Muslim category.
Sarkozy's gaffe reminds one of what happened to the son of the Peruvian-born, very Catholic cleaning lady. The boy, whose name was Emmanuel, was placed in the Muslim religious class at his primary school: the schoolmaster reckoned that as he was dark-skinned he must be a Muslim. Emmanuel's mother discovered this when her son came home with stories of Muhammad killing the infidels, rather than with Jesus Christ's message of love. She was appalled, just as Abel Chennouf's pregnant widow, Catherine, was when, according to President Sarkozy, the supreme commander of the French army, she heard that her husband had been killed not for proudly wearing the French uniform, but because he… looked like a Muslim. The blindness of Europe's leaders is an insult to its people.
by Lars Hedegaard
April 16, 2012 at 4:45 am
"The price that we all have to pay for this freedom is is that others have a right to criticize our politics, our religion and our culture."
Honourable Supreme Court,
My attorney has presented juridical arguments to the effect that I must be acquitted and I shall refrain from elaborating.
However, allow me to express my quiet bafflement that somebody can claim that it has been my intention to accuse every last Muslim father in the world of abusing his children – particularly in light of the fact that I have carefully explained that it was never my intention to disseminate such an absurd contention.
For precisely that reason, I would have welcomed an opportunity to review the statements I now stand accused of having uttered before they were placed on the Internet. If the interviewer had fulfilled this basic journalistic obligation, I would have demanded that my remarks be corrected so as to reflect my true opinions and the prosecutor could have saved the trouble of dragging me through the courts.
I am even more baffled at one of the claims about my person that has been circulated in connection with this case, namely that I am a racist. I have never been, I am not now and I shall never be a racist. On the contrary, all my life I have opposed racist attitudes, by which I mean hatred towards and denigrating speech about people due their descent, skin colour or other so-called racial characteristics – in other words, antipathy against or ill treatment of people due to circumstances over which they have no control.
Islam is not a race and therefore criticism of Islam cannot be racism.
Islam, which lurks behind this entire case, has been described from a variety of viewpoints. Some say that it is a religion, others that is an all-encompassing ideology that contains a religion, still others emphasise its cultural norms, its culturally transmitted customs and practices. Some even maintain that Islam is so multifaceted that it is impossible to describe it.
But regardless of one's approach, it must be clear that Islam is not a hereditary human attribute.
If our Western freedom means anything at all, we must insist that every grown-up person is responsible for his or her beliefs, opinions, culture, habits and actions.
We enjoy political freedom and we enjoy freedom of religion. This implies a largely unlimited right to disseminate one's political persuasion and religious beliefs. That is as it should be. But the price we all have to pay for this freedom is that others have a right to criticise our politics, our religion and our culture.
Islamic spokesmen have the freedom to advocate their concept of society, which implies the introduction of a theocracy governed by god-given laws, i.e. sharia, the abolition of man-made laws and by implication freedom of expression and democracy. They are free to think that women are inferior to men as concerns their rights and their pursuit of happiness. They are even entitled to disseminate such opinions.
I cannot recall a single instance in this country where an Islamic spokesman has been prosecuted for saying that, of course, sharia will become the law of the land once the demographic and political realities make it possible. This despite the fact that we have several examples of, e.g., imams who have openly declared that the imposition of theocracy is a religious duty incumbent on all believers.
In return, these theocrats and sharia-advocates must accept the right of those who believe in democracy, free institutions and human equality to criticise Islam and to oppose its dissemination and the atavistic cultural norms practiced by some Muslims.
It is this right – I would even say duty – to describe, criticise and oppose a totalitarian ideology that I have tried to exercise to the best of my ability.
My speech and my writings have had no other purpose than to alert my fellow citizens to the danger inherent in the Islamic concept of the state and the law.
I have made no secret of the fact that I consider this fight for our liberties to be the most important political struggle of our time.
I would not be able to live with my guilty conscience if – out of fear of public condemnation and ridicule – I refrained from telling the truth as I see it.
And regardless of the outcome of this trial, I intend to continue my struggle for free speech and against totalitarian concepts of any stripe.
* * *
Editor's note: On April 13, Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society, appealed to Denmark's Supreme Court overturn his conviction by Denmark's Superior Court on May 3, 2011, after two years in lower courts, on charges of alleged Hate Speech. Under Denmark's Article 266(b), it is immaterial if what one says is true; evidence to support of the truth is inadmissable. All that matters is if someone has said somethiing in public that might cause someone to "feel offended," or if the prosecutor thinks someone might be justified in "feeling offended." After Mr. Hedegaard spoke privately about the Muslim treatment of women, a tape of his remarks was disseminated, apparently without his knowledge or approval. The accuracy of what he said was not in dispute. A verdict is expected this week. What in fact is on trial is Denmark.
Lars Hedegaard, President, Danish Free Press Society. Historian and journalist. email@example.com
by Harold Rhode
April 16, 2012 at 4:00 am
By abandoning Iraq, the US administration sadly has given the Iraqi Shiites no alternative other than to look to Iran for protection. But if that new Iranian government were to be allied to the West, what difference would it make if Iraq had whatever it needed to defend itself?
The Obama Administration has decided to sell Iraq 36 advanced F-16 Block 52 fighters. On the surface this might seem a good idea, it would help Iraq, which we liberated from Saddam's tyranny, to defend itself. But perhaps it might be better to put off selling these planes to Iraq until Iran is "liberated," or at least disencumbered of its current regime. Why?
Iran now has great influence in Iraq: Shiites, who constitute the majority of Iraq's population and Iran's, suitably fear the Sunnis might slaughter them. The Shiite historic narrative is packed with stories of how both their historic figures and they were murdered by Sunni tyrants and dictators. As many Sunnis regard Shiites as apostates -- and as, in Islam, the punishment for apostasy is death -- there is a perfect, off-the-rack excuse for the Sunnis to murder Shiites. Since the Obama Administration withdrew US forces from Iraq, Iraq's Shiites are justifiably petrified, now that their US ally is gone, that the Sunnis will slaughter them. Although Iraqi Shiites traditionally loathe the Iranians, Iraq's Shiites know that at least the Iranians will not slaughter them like their Sunni neighbors. By abandoning Iraq, the US Administration has sadly given the Iraqi Shiites no alternative other than to look to Iran for protection.
Imagine that Iran had a new government which wanted to get along with the outside world, and no longer constituted a nuclear threat either to its Sunni neighbors, Europe, Israel or the US. Given Iranian history, there is little doubt that such an Iranian government would look to the outside world for help. As the majority of Iraqis are Shiites, and as Iran is overwhelmingly Shiite, Iran's government will be made up of Shiites irrespective of who rules that country; the Iraqis will still have to look to Iran as a big (though loathed) brother.
But if that new Iranian government were to be be allied to the West, what difference would it make whether Iraq had whatever it needed to defend itself? The Iraqis could then breathe a sigh of relief that both countries would be in the Western orbit and could look to the US for help in time of need.
So in helping to "liberate" Iran, we would be "liberating" Iraq as well: there would be no reason to worry further about Iranian influence in Iraq. And we could comfortably sell the Iraqis whatever they needed to defend themselves -- without worrying about Iran's influence there.
by Irfan Al-Alawi
April 16, 2012 at 3:00 am
The posture of the ruler of Dubai in presenting this Wahhabi performance as a factor for peace is alarming in its apparent revelation of the weakness of Dubai...
In one of the most absurd recent exercises in self-deceptive propaganda by radical Islamists, an "International Peace Convention" has been announced for April 12 at the Dubai World Trade Center.
The event, which is the second of its kind, will be give a prominent place to Zakir Naik, an Indian Muslim televangelist whose "Peace TV" beams from Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Mumbai. Naik, an unapologetic adherent of the ultrafundamentalist Wahhabi sect of Islam, is barred from entry into Canada and Britain for exhorting Muslim youth to participate in terrorism. He has incited Muslims against non-Wahhabi observances and interpretations, including Sufism and Shiism, and loudly proclaims his alleged charisma in convincing Hindus, Christians, and other believers to become Muslims.
Naik was denounced as an apostate from Islam in 2008, by a leading Indian Muslim jurist, Maulana Mufti Abdul Irfan Qadvi, for supporting the late Osama Bin Laden. Maulana Qadvi appealed to the Indian government to ban "Peace TV," and to investigate Naik's financial backing. Tens of millions of Indian Muslims who follow the spiritual Sufi way were outraged when Naik proclaimed their devotions to be heresy – a remark the television preacher later recanted.
At the same time, however, Naik offended, with apparently deliberate intent, the Indian Sunni and Shia Muslims by praising the killer of Imam Husayn, the grandson of Muhammad. Mourning the death of Husayn is a central component in Shiism; his murder has been traditionally condemned by moderate Sunni Muslims.
The pretensions of Naik to standing as a Muslim scholar who can deliver fatwas [religious opinions] via his broadcasts have been repudiated by other established Indian Muslim authorities. Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi, general-secretary of the All India Ulema Council, has stated of Naik: "He is neither an 'aalim' (scholar) nor a 'mufti' (one who gives fatwa)… he should not issue fatwas from public platforms."
Naik's habit of proclaiming fatwas and offering Quranic interpretation, despite his lack of appropriate religious training, is typical of Wahhabis and their followers. Wahhabis claim that their improvisation of religious doctrine represents a "reform" of Islam and a revival of "ijtihad," or individual juristic reasoning. In practice, such "individual reasoning" has served as an excuse for Wahhabis to impose unjust punishments for alleged moral infractions, as well as to support acts of terror previously forbidden in Islam.
"Peace TV" has promoted indoctrination in fanaticism by such Wahhabis as the virulently radical and racist American Siraj Wahhaj, born Jeffrey Kearse, and a former follower of the spurious "Nation of Islam." Wahhaj is a past vice-president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which was set up with the backing of the Saudi Wahhabi clerical establishment. Wahhaj was named in 1995 by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White as an unindicted co-conspirator in the plot to blow up the World Trade Center in New York in 1993. He also testified in the defense of the convicted terrorist, the "blind sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman.
Yet another luminary of "Peace TV" is Jamal Badawi, known for his association with the Muslim world's most prominent extremist media figure, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. Badawi, who was born in Egypt and lives in Canada, serves on Al-Qaradawi's so-called "European Council for Fatwas and Research," which is chiefly distinguished by the scarcity of European Muslims in its ranks; most of its members are Arab or African.
Badawi is even better known, however, for his misogynistic interpretation of Islam. In his 1980 volume, The Status of Women in Islam, Badawi wrote to oppose the involvement of women in politics: "According to Islam, the head of the state is no mere figurehead. He leads people in the prayers, especially on Fridays and festivities; he is continuously engaged in the process of decision-making pertaining to the security and well-being of his people. This demanding position, or any similar one, such as the Commander of the Army, is generally inconsistent with the physiological and psychological make-up of woman in general. It is a medical fact that during their monthly periods and during their pregnancies, women undergo various physiological and psychological changes. Such changes may occur during an emergency situation, thus affecting her decision, without considering the excessive strain which is produced. Moreover, some decisions require a maximum of rationality and a minimum of emotionality – a requirement which does not coincide with the instinctive nature of women."
This line of argument conflicts with the experience of Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, all leading Muslim countries which have included women among their political leaders. Even Saudi Arabia under King Abdullah has proclaimed reforms which, if they are fully adopted, will provide women the right to participate in public decision-making. By royal order, women will be free from the Wahhabi requirement for permission from a male relative to vote and stand as candidates in Saudi municipal elections scheduled for 2015.
On April 13, the second day of the convocation, the regular Friday preacher at the Grand Mosque (Haram) in Mecca, the Wahhabi sheikh Abdur Rahman Al-Sudais, will lead collective prayer at the Dubai affair.
Although Al-Sudais claims to be an apostle of interfaith dialogue, he has been barred from Canada and condemned by Saudi officials for his extremist rhetoric. He has supported previously-unknown restrictions on the participation of women in the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Most offensively to moderate Muslims, Al-Sudais demands that women who go on hajj be separated from men and required to put on the un-Islamic face veil (niqab). Such demeaning proposals have never before been articulated among Muslims, who believe that women living in Mecca and attending hajj are sufficient in their virtue, and require neither taking leave of men nor covering their faces.
Al-Sudais has also been an active adherent of anti-Islamic, anti-historical, and anti-cultural schemes for the desecration of Mecca by the construction of new high-rise buildings around the Ka'bah, the most sacred Islamic structure, to which all Muslims turn in prayer. Saudi Wahhabis, obsessed with a gigantism in construction reminiscent of Stalin's in Soviet Russia, have already erected a huge "royal clock tower" that overlooks the Ka'bah, and has a face even larger than the Ka'bah itself.
The message of Wahhabis such as Al-Sudais is: Saudi power transcends and dwarfs the whole of Islam.
Other well-known fundamentalist agitators advertised to appear at the Dubai "convention" include Yusuf Estes, who regularly appears on the fundamentalist Islam Channel, and who is a former Protestant believer of Anglo-Saxon heritage, chiefly distinguished by his thick American Southern accent.
Elements of peace-making, according to the agenda at the Dubai meeting, are vague. Dr. Hamad Al-Shaibani, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Award for World Peace, announced: "Peace is the ultimate goal for our Convention -- just as it is the ultimate goal of Islam itself."
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, patron of this disgraceful spectacle, is prime minister and ruler of Dubai, and vice-president of the United Arab Emirates.
The "Dubai International Peace Convention," led by Naik and Al-Sudais, may well have been conceived last year when Al-Sudais visited India. Regardless of the details of its origin, a meeting in which radicals such as Naik and Al-Sudais are prominent will do nothing to advance the cause of peace or of interfaith cooperation. Rather, it will encourage extremist ideology and violence. The posture of the ruler of Dubai in presenting this Wahhabi performance as a factor for peace is alarming in its apparent revelation of the weakness of Dubai in the face of the money and influence wielded from Saudi Arabia by the Wahhabi clerical caste. Rather than welcoming and praising these zealots, Sheikh Al-Maktoum would be better served by following the counsel of the Indian cleric, Maulana Qadvi, expelling "Peace TV" and Naik from Dubai for good.
As for Al-Sudais, the trip from Dubai back to Saudi Arabia is a short one; his deportation would contribute more to peace and good interfaith relations than any elaborate media masterwork.
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