LETTRE DE FRANCOIS GAUTIER ADRESSEE A TOUS CEUX QUI L’ACCUSENT D’ÊTRE UN FACHISTE

Le fascisme c’est d’accuser l’autre sans prendre la peine de faire passer ces accusations par le test de la logique et de la raison…

Le fascisme c’est de refuser le dialogue, comme le font tous les indianistes du CNRS et de l’EHESS quand on leur tend la main, dialogue qui peut prendre place devant témoins sous forme de débat…

Le fascisme c’est de traiter de fasciste quelqu’un qui vit depuis 40 ans en Inde, est marié depuis 20 ans à une Indienne, dont les meilleurs copains sont des Indiens appartenant à toutes les religions. Quelqu’un qui dans sa vie privée n’est ni raciste, ni haineux, ni méchant…

Le fascisme c’est d’être assis sur son pesant derrière à Paris (ou dans cette grosse bulle qu’est Delhi) et de disséquer l’Inde à partir de préjugés, de faux théorèmes, en se basant sur le politiquement correct, qui n’est que du reçu de son éducation, son atavisme et ce qu’on lit (cela s’appelle  de la connaissance de deuxième main)….

Le fascisme c’est d’accuser de fascisme quelqu’un qui a couvert le Cachemire pendant 15 ans, au moment des troubles les plus graves, qui a parcouru de long en large le Pakistan, le Bangladesh, l’Afghanistan, qui a sillonné l’Inde comme aucun autre journaliste français… Même s’il se trompe – au moins il parle d’expérience – et peut-être le temps lui donnera raison…

Tout ce que j’ai fait, lorsque je travaillais pour le Figaro, c’est de dire qu’il existait un problème avec l’islam en Asie du sud, à un moment où il n’était pas politiquement correct de le dire. J’ai aussi rédigé une série d’articles sur les grandes religions en Inde, qui ont provoqué l’ire des indianistes. Ceux-ci ont écrit au Figaro un impressionnant nombre de lettres de protestation, demandant des droits de réponse et ma démission. De ce jour là, j’ai été marqué et une campagne de diffamation à tous les niveaux a été initiée contre moi.

Quand on est accusé d’être antimusulman, c’est pire que d’être un pestiféré, on est condamné sans jugement, sans que les accusateurs s’objectivent une seconde. S’ils le faisaient, ils réaliseraient que c’est une ironie terrible: on excuse les attentats suicide en Israël ou à Bombay qui tuent des centaines d’innocents, au nom de la ‘persécution’ des Palestiniens, des Tchéchènes ou des Kashmiris; mais on accuse des pires crimes quelqu’un qui n’a jamais assassiné personne, ni même prôné la haine, mais a simplement écrit ce qu’il a constaté de ses yeux, en vingt ans de reportages.

Tout au long de ma carrière, j’ai souffert de cette étiquette qui ne s’explique pas mais est véhiculée de personne en personne et fait rapidement le tour de tout ce qui touche à l’Inde, que ce soit les agences de voyage, les expatriés, les diplomates ou les journalistes : « c’est un antimusulman, un pro-hindou, un fasciste »… Les gens, même les plus éclairés, ne veulent écouter que le politiquement correct, l’idéologie de masse, ils ne veulent jamais entendre la différence. J’ai connu six ambassadeurs de France, mais jamais m’a-t-on invité pour me demander mon avis sur un sujet ou un autre. Je me suis même dernièrement fait jeter par l’ambassadeur actuel, Jérôme Bonnafont, qui m’a traité de… fasciste… parce que je lui ai fait remarquer que c’est après que 59 hindous innocents, dont 36 femmes et enfants, aient été brûlés dans un train par une meute de musulmans, que les émeutes antimusulmanes du Gujarat ont démarré. Pourtant Jérôme Bonnafont ne fait pas lui-même exactement dans le politiquement correct: il est le premier ambasadeur étranger à Delhi ouvertement gay, ce qui fait jaser le tout Delhi francophone.

C’est cette arrogance bien française, qui ne s’explique pas au pays des cartésiens, de traiter de secte tout ce qui a une couleur hindoue, ou de fascistes ceux avec qui on est en désaccord, sans leur accorder la chance de s’expliquer et sans même s’expliquer à soi-même la logique de ses accusations. Le président Sarkozy, qui a montré qu’il savait être différent, devrait constituer un petit comité de Français qui VIVENT l’inde du dedans, pour le conseiller.

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55 responses to “LETTRE DE FRANCOIS GAUTIER ADRESSEE A TOUS CEUX QUI L’ACCUSENT D’ÊTRE UN FACHISTE

  1. Do you have the English version of this article?

  2. Dr Crish Virahsawmy

    Bravo François pour ton courage et dévouement pour rectifier le jugement des “Indianistes” politiquement corrects pour dénigrer la culture et spiritualité des hindous.
    Quelques hindous de l’Ile Maurice apprécient le courage qu’il leur manque. Crish

  3. French to English translationShow romanization
    Fascism is to accuse the other without bothering to get these charges by the test of logic and reason …

    Fascism is to refuse dialogue, as do all Indologists CNRS and EHESS them when I extend my hand, dialogue can take place before witnesses as a debate …

    Fascism is fascism to treat someone who has lived 40 years in India, has been married 20 years to an Indian, whose best friends are Tamil, and also has Muslim friends. Someone in his private life is neither racist nor hateful, nor bad …

    Fascism is sitting on its weight behind Paris (or in this big bubble that is Delhi) and dissect India from prejudice, false theorems, based on political correctness, which Only the receipt of his education, his heredity and what we read (this is called the second hand knowledge) ….

    Fascism is fascism to acknowledge someone who has covered the Kashmir for 15 years at the time of the most serious disorders, which has traveled up and down in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, who crisscrossed India like any other French journalist … Even if he is wrong – at least he speaks from experience – and perhaps the time will give reason …

    Everything I did when I was working for Le Figaro, is to say that there was a problem with Islam in South Asia, at a time when it was not politically correct to say. I also wrote a series of articles on major religions in India, which provoked the ire Indians. They have written to the Figaro an impressive number of letters of protest, demanding rights and answer my resignation. From that day, I was marked and a smear campaign at all levels has been initiated against me.

    When one is accused of being anti-Muslim, it’s worse than being a leper, one was sentenced without trial, without the accusers objectified second. If they did, they would realize that it is a terrible irony: we excuse suicide bombings in Israel or in Mumbai which killed hundreds of innocents in the name of ‘persecution’ of Palestinians, Chechens and Kashmiris; but is accused of the worst crimes anyone who has ever murdered anyone, or even advocated hatred, but simply wrote what he found in his eyes, in twenty years of reporting.

    Throughout my career I have suffered from this label that is not explained but is conveyed from person to person and is quick around everything related to India, whether the travel agencies, expatriates, diplomats or journalists: “It is a Muslim, a pro-Hindu, a Fascist” … People, even the most enlightened, do not want to listen to the politically correct ideology of mass, they do not want never hear the difference. I have seen six ambassadors of France, but never have I been asked to ask you opinion on one subject or another. I even recently thrown by the current ambassador, Jerome Bonnafont, who called me a fascist … … because I have made it out after 59 innocent Hindus including 36 women and children, have been burnt in a train by a mob of Muslims, the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat have started.

    It is this very French arrogance, which is not explained in the land of Cartesian to deal with any sect, which has a color Hindu fascists or those with whom we disagree, without giving them the chance to s’ explanation and without even explain to himself the logic of his accusations. President Sarkozy, who showed he could be different, should form a small committee of French who LIVE from within India, to advise him.

  4. La colère musulmane a de tout temps généré défections, trahisons et haine des siens dans les populations qui y étaient confrontées. Aujourd’hui, en France comme ailleurs, l’activisme pour des causes typiquement islamiques (palestinisme etc.) génère une “sympathie” suspecte chez des gens qui ont surtout peur, au fond, de cette immémoriale fureur religieuse.

    Alors on trouve tout à fait “logique” de s’indigner quand quelqu’un critique l’islam contemporain, replet de dérives et de haine, et de défendre les causes islamiques avec plus de véhémence que tout le reste.

    Il y aurait beaucoup à dire sur l’effet psychologique de la colère islamique, toujours si prête à s’estimer victime, alors que les premières victimes sont ceux qui vivent dans les pays musulmans, majorité ou minorité.

  5. François Gautier

    Merci Crish
    Le musée des Hindous démarre le 12 janvier
    fr

  6. Bravo François !

  7. Merci pour votre courage et votre honnêteté intellectuelle .

  8. Merci François pour votre courage.

    PJM, approché de très près par des adeptes de Saï Baba en France…

  9. “When one is accused of being anti-Muslim, it’s worse than being a leper”

    The feeling of hurt is everywhere. Things will get better in due course. Please do keep going on the path of truth, your work may become an inspiration for someone else.

  10. Here is an article about Marco Polo and his reflections in his travels – why is it relevant here, because it about just this issue of blanketly labeling people anti-Muslim for saying anything critical. It does not distinguish between criticism and prejudice, but makes any criticism whatsoever to be only prejudice. But that is not how it should be in liberal democratic societies. Discussion and debate and criticism brings better understanding. It may not be what one wants to hear, but that does not make it prejudice.

    This site has its political stance so read this with care, but the discussion of Marco Polo and whether one has lost some honest talk in the name of PC (PC has devolved into the real silencer of free speech and debate). What seems to be sad is that the right wing seems to be upholding free speech than the left wing. How did this happen? Liberals, not the political left wing that is at times no better than the political right wing, should be at the fore once again.:

    “If the same exact criticisms being made against Islam today were also made centuries ago, is it reasonable to automatically dismiss them all as “Islamophobic” — that is, as “unfounded fear of and hostility towards Islam,” as the Councl on American Islamc Relations would have it?

    This is the question I often ask myself whenever I read pre-modern writings on Islam. Take that elementary schoolbook hero, Marco Polo and his famous memoirs, for example. By today’s standards, the 13th century Venetian merchant would be denounced as a rabid “Islamophobe.” For me, however, his writings contain a far more important lesson — one in continuity — and deserve closer scrutiny.

    Before examining Polo’s observations, it should be noted that his anthropological accounts are, by and large, objective. That is, unlike simplistic explanations that portray him as a prototypical “Orientalist” with an axe to grind against the “Other” — specifically non-whites and non-Christians — in fact, Polo occasionally portrays the few Christians he encountered in a negative light (such as those of the island of Socotra) and frequently praises non-Christians, including Muslims….”
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/was-marco-polo-an-%E2%80%98islamophobe%E2%80%99/?singlepage=true

    So what is appropriate dialogue today? Can religion be discussed and critiqued with the aims of seeing things accurately, even if what is accurate is unpleasant? Is PC about setting the ground rules (no name calling, etc…) for discussion, as a tool for dialogue and debate, and growth, or is PC about silencing those with negative labels who go off what is PC allowed?

  11. How ‘Gandhara’ became ‘Kandahar’
    Dec 17 2001

    “Afghanistan’s epic history starts when it was an important region of ancient India called ‘Gandhara’. One of its most frequently mentioned cities in the world today is ‘Kandahar’, made infamous by the Taliban. The earlier name of the city was ‘Quandhar’, derived from the name of the region of Gandhara. Erstwhile home to Al-Qaeda today, it was always a strategic site, being on main Persian routes to Central Asia and India. Hence, it has a long history of conquests. Kandahar was taken by Alexander in 329 B.C.E., was surrendered by the Greek to Chandragupta in 305 B.C.E., and is dignified by a rock inscription of Asoka. It fell under Arab rule in the 7th century C.E., and under the Ghaznavids in the 10th. Kandahar was destroyed by Genghis Khan and again by the Turkic conqueror Timur, after which it was held by the Mughals. Mughal Emperor Babur built 40 giant steps up a hill, cut out of the solid limestone, leading to inscriptions recording details of his proud conquests. In 1747 it became the first capital of a unified Afghanistan.

    Besides early reference in the Vedas, Ramayana and Mahabharata, Gandhara was the locus of ancient Indian-Persian interaction, a center of world trade and culture. It was a major Buddhist intellectual hub for centuries. The giant Buddhist statues recently destroyed by the Taliban were in Bamiyan, one of the important Buddhist cities of ancient times. Thousands of statues and stupas once dominated its landscape. ”
    http://rajivmalhotra.sulekha.com/blog/post/2001/12/how-gandhara-became-kandahar.htm

  12. Gautier you may be interested in this site which translates Middle East media into European languages (French included) and several others:

    MEMRI
    http://www.memri.org/?clear=1

  13. En effet, MemriTV est à peu près la seule manière de voir ce que disent les médias arabophones aux populations de ces pays. C’est replet de bigoterie, de propagande haineuse, de falsifications et de haine d’Israël.

  14. Gadafi must be anti-Muslim and anti-Islam then. This is what Gadafi said:

    God did not create a Europe for Europeans only

    urged the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Muslims in the European Union to unite and join the People’s Leadership of the Islamic World, which he chaired…

    Gaddafi said at the meeting, on Thursday evening, in the Libyan capital Tripoli, the heads of delegations of leaders of the Social Popular Islamic Forum Muammar friendship and networking in the Balkans, and the Association of Gaddafi to young people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who were visiting Libya, «You are a rarity in Europe, you get the large number of willing God in the day, you will have the upper hand and higher levels, you will be imams and Oarthyn of the European continent ».

    He added: «If Turkey joined the European Union, and the presence of both states the Balkans in the European Union and Albania in the European Union, the meaning of this is that the European continent is no longer a crusade or a Christian as it was, but Islam has become a strong partner in the European continent to the ground and human beings and actually».

    «We await the day when Turkey joins the European Union to serve as a Trojan horse, which tells the history».

    And reduced-Qadhafi, who holds the rotating presidency of the Arab summit, of the importance of statistics that declare the number of Muslims in Europe, said it was not true, because it is tendentious statistics show that Muslims are a minority. However, he added: «Muslims more than the number declared by the official statistics».

    He added, saying: «Fortunately, the Muslims started to multiply and multiply more than the rest of the other religions, maybe this is a sign of God. Thus the will of God, made Muslims multiply times higher than other breeds. Perhaps this is proof that God wants to be more Muslims than anyone else in the end »….

    He said: «We must unite in Europe, and to be an Islamic state and one under the banner of the World Islamic People’s Leadership», pointing out that God created the earth for all people…
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&langpair=auto|en&u=http://www.fpnp.net/ar/news/49685_%25D8%25A7%25D9%2584%25D9%2582%25D8%25B0%25D8%25A7%25D9%2581%25D9%258A:_%25D8%25A7%25D9%2584%25D9%2584%25D9%2587_%25D9%2584%25D9%2585_%25D9%258A%25D8%25AE%25D9%2584%25D9%2582_%25D8%25A3%25D9%2588%25D8%25B1%25D9%2588%25D8%25A8%25D8%25A7_%25D9%2584%25D9%2584%25D8%25A3%25D9%2588%25D8%25B1%25D9%2588%25D8%25A8%25D9%258A%25D9%258A%25D9%2586_%25D9%2581%25D9%2582%25D8%25B7.html&tbb=1&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1

  15. The link did not work but it is from “Firas Press” Arabic language newspaper date 08/06/2010.

  16. The thing with Muslims and Islam is that it is not about “Hinduism” but about NON-MUSLIMS/NON-ISLAMIC RELIGIONS.

    In the areas of the Indian subcontinent that went to create an Islamic state (Pakistan and Bangladesh), you see the non-Muslim population decrease.

    However, the decrease in non-Muslim populations is also true for the Middle East.

    Pope Presents Middle East Synod Document
    http://www.americancatholic.org/news/report.aspx?id=2705:

    “Christianity is native to the Middle East and existed there for centuries before Islam developed, the document said.

    “Oftentimes, relations between Christians and Muslims are difficult, principally because Muslims make no distinction between religion and politics, thereby relegating Christians to the precarious position of being considered non-citizens,” the document said.

    “The key to harmonious living between Christians and Muslims is to recognize religious freedom and human rights,” it said.”

  17. Similar situation:

    “These harsh circumstances are causing Christians to flee their ancestral lands for the West’s more hospitable environment. Consequently, Christian populations of the Muslim world are in a free-fall. Two small but evocative instances of this pattern: for the first time in nearly two millennia, Nazareth and Bethlehem no longer have Christian majorities.

    This reality of oppression and decline stands in dramatic contrast to the surging Muslim minority of the West. Although numbering fewer than 20 million and made up mostly of immigrants and their offspring, it is an increasingly established and vocal minority, granted extensive rights and protections even as it wins new legal, cultural, and political prerogatives.

    This widening disparity has caught the attention of the Church, which for the first time is pointing to radical Islam, rather than the actions of Israel, as the central problem facing Christians living with Muslims.

    Rumblings of this could be heard already in John Paul II’s time. For example, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican equivalent of foreign minister, noted in late 2003 that “There are too many majority Muslim countries where non-Muslims are second-class citizens.” Tauran pushed for reciprocity: “Just as Muslims can build their houses of prayer anywhere in the world, the faithful of other religions should be able to do so as well.”

    Catholic demands for reciprocity have grown, especially since the accession of Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005, for whom Islam is a central concern. In February, the pope emphasized the need to respect “the convictions and religious practices of others so that, in a reciprocal manner, the exercise of freely-chosen religion is truly assured to all….Obtaining the same rights for Christians in Islamdom that Muslims enjoy in Christendom has become the key to the Vatican’s diplomacy toward Muslims.” http://www.danielpipes.org/3729/the-vatican-confronts-islam#latest

  18. “Reciprocity” central to the Catholic church when it comes to relations with muslims. At last, something sound and firm coming from Rome. But Muslims will never, ever accept reciprocity. It would involve allowing to build Hindu temples on muslim land, compensating one million Jewish refugees of Arab ethnic cleansing, freedom for minorities to criticize Islamic history and law, etc. etc.

  19. “You really want to see the establishment of an Islamic Republic in France?

    Yes, but not only for France. I hope the whole world becomes Muslim.

    Abdelkader Bouziane, Imam of Vénissieux”

  20. A conference in America from a “non-violent” group:

  21. British Liberal Minded Atheist Pat Condelll:

  22. People confuse saying some unpleasant truth with prejudice, and this is because of how distorted PC has become. PC no longer creates a space for fair discuss but suppresses anything unpleasant that it doesn’t want to hear. PC itself has become dictatorial.

    Harsh truth should not be shunned. What does that help? You don’t progress that way. The reverse happens – growth and understanding is stunted.

    Unpleasant truth when it comes to Islam in India (and not only India) is this:

    “Islam destroyed India. There is this ill-informed idea that it was the British, in the short time that they were there, that ruined and defaced all those temples you see. The bitter fact is that the people of India were ill-equipped to face the organized military power of Islam and were destroyed by it. The intellectual life of India, the Sanskrit culture, stops at 1000AD. Islam was the greatest calamity that befell it. Now people think only the Muslims built anything but what they brought was a slave culture that lasted in some parts of India until almost the other day. To be a Muslim you have to destroy your history, to stamp on your ancestral culture. The sands of Arabia is all that matters. This abolition of the self is worse than the colonial abolition, much worse.”
    –VS Naipaul (Nobel Prize, Literature, 2001)
    He wrote “Among the Believers”

  23. FYI – This piece is about a specific case and you can read the whole thing at the link, but the issue is relevant beyond this specific case.

    When Islam Acts Like a Conquering Army
    “One does not celebrate a victory by planting one’s flag on the soil of the enemy unless he is occupying that land or intends to occupy it…

    Some 25 years ago, I met at the infamous Le Fouqet in Paris with a Saudi national businessman who was very close to the al-Saud. It was a business meeting but because of few drinks the Saudi had, the conversation quickly turned to politics. Knowing I held a US passport as well as a Saudi one, he had a message for the US: Saudi Arabia will become the most powerful country and we will conquer all lands.

    It was almost comedic hearing a Saudi, half inebriated, claim world dominance. The connect between his words and reality were so far apart, I did not give it too much thought at the time, nor did I fully understand what his words meant….

    But what if religion acts like a conquering army? How could we reconcile this fact with our laws? Being an American, laws will always prevail, but being a Muslim also, I have a warning: We will conquer you if you do not change your laws accordingly.

    The US better reconcile between Freedom of Religion and Islam as a conquering army soon. The two cannot co-exist for long.”
    http://www.aina.org/news/20100806211608.htm

  24. Philippe Launay

    Ça fait plaisir de lire des pensées autant partagées ,
    I am very glad to read some shared point of view like you, I wish to follow your publication, myself a lover of India ,Bengali speaking ( with mistakes) , married with a Bengali lady.

  25. Gautier,
    This is a site that monitors terrorism in South Asia: South Asia Terrorism Portal
    http://www.satp.org

  26. This is the document used in the trial mentioned in the above assessment report:
    http://www.txnd.uscourts.gov/judges/hlf2/09-25-08/Elbarasse%20Search%203.pdf

  27. good work

  28. “Do our Greens have the courage of Holland’s to criticise Islam?
    Andrew Bolt
    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 10:35am

    Will Australia’s Greens, and particularly their gay leader, have the intellectual and moral integrity to follow the the Dutch Greens’ lead?

    Leftwing Green (GroenLinks) leader Femke Halsema believes that progressive politicians and thinkers should dare to make more criticisms of Islam.

    They are too often accepting the pressure that radical Muslims put on the Islamic community, in her view.

    Halesema says it is high time that leftwing politicians view the position of women and homosexuals within Islamic communities just as critically as they do when it comes to Christianity. This does not happen at present because there is too much black-and-white thinking, in her view.

    “There are two flavours: you are either a multiculturalist or an Islam haters,” she said in a lecture on freedom of religion in Utrecht’s Jacobi church.

    Awkwardly for the Left, this was precisely the argument made by Pim Fortuyn, a gay sociology professor and leader of a Dutch “Right-wing” party who was first demonised by the Left and then assassinated by an animal liberationist for criticising Islam:

    I don’t hate Islam. I consider it a backward culture. I have travelled much in the world. And wherever Islam rules, it’s just terrible. All the hypocrisy. It’s a bit like those old Reformed Protestants. The Reformed lie all the time. And why is that? Because they have norms and values that are so high that you can’t humanly maintain them. You also see that in that Muslim culture. Then look at the Netherlands. In what country could an electoral leader of such a large movement as mine be openly homosexual? How wonderful that that’s possible. That’s something that one can be proud of. And I’d like to keep it that way, thank you very much..

    (Thanks to reader Pas.)

    UPDATE

    Meanwhile, Holland’s rulers are turning the country towards theocracy, attacking another politician’s right to even speak the truth about Islam:

    Prosecutors say Dutch politician Geert Wilders cannot defend himself on hate speech charges by arguing that remarks he has made critical of Islam are true.

    They say there is no general agreement about the nature of Islam and his statements are only his opinion….

    Prosecutor Birgit van Roessel said at the start of her closing arguments Tuesday that the right to freedom of speech has limits, including when it infringes too far on the right of freedom of religion….

    This is obscene.

    Meanwhile, the law seems of more use to real hate-preachers than those who expose them:

    Radical The Hague imam Fawaz Jneid is demanding €55,000 in damages from MP Geert Wilders for using video footage of him without permission in his anti-Islam film compliation Fitna.

    The hearing will take place in The Hague next Wednesday. Wilders is also appearing in court in Amsterdam next week on charges of inciting hatred and discrimination.

    Wilders had used part of an interview with Jneid recorded for tv current affairs show Network in 2008.

    The imam claims his portrait rights have been infringed, that Wilders broke the law and that his good name has been damaged.

    So what had Wilders shown Jneid preaching?:

    Sheik Fawaz Jneid … cursed filmmaker Theo van Gogh in a sermon a few weeks before he was murdered exactly two years ago yesterday. According to terrorist suspect Soumaya Sahla, the murderer, Mohammed Bouyeri, was present at the sermon.

    In his prayer, Fawaz said to Allah: ”Cause Van Gogh a disease which all the inhabitants of the earth are unable to cure. Cause him suffering making him long for death. Blind the sight of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, give her brains a cancer. Give her tongue a cancer.” Fawaz said this week he had just wanted “to blow off steam”.”
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/do_our_greens_have_the_courage_of_hollands_to_criticise_islam/

  29. What happens to dharmic religions under an Islamic state – they are religiously cleansed and those that remain live in jeopardy. This is today, not 100 years ago.

    TIME
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20101204/wl_time/08599203251400

    “Pakistan: The Embattled Sikhs in Taliban Territory
    By RANIA ABOUZEID / PESHAWAR Rania Abouzeid / Peshawar Sat Dec 4, 9:30 am ET

    In Peshawar’s noisy and manic Dabgari bazaar, bearded men weaving in and out of the curbside stores are a ubiquitous sight. (There are few women in the market). Most of them wear round, white Pashtun hats, a fixture in these parts. But there are a substantial number of merchants who, though also bearded and dressed in the traditional shalwar kameez, are adorned with the intricately wound and colorful turbans of those who profess the Sikh religion. Many of them live just a few streets away from the market, where the noise and rubbish-strewn streets fall away and are replaced by a warren of winding narrow alleyways, swept clean, and lined by brick homes, many of which despite being caked in decades of dust and disrepair still maintain a haughty grandeur. This is Jogan Shah, the Sikh neighborhood of Peshawar.

    Sikhs and Hindus are tiny and embattled communities in Pakistan. As small, non-Muslim populations, especially in the volatile, religiously conservative northwest, they were easy prey for the Taliban. That’s why the population of Jogan Shah has spiked in recent years. Sikhs like Darsha Singh, displaced from his village of Orakzai in the war-ravaged tribal territories further northwest, have sought refuge with their co-religionists in Peshawar, which now hosts some 500 families, the largest Sikh population in Pakistan. (Who are the Sikhs?)

    Darsha Singh removes his shoes, washes his feet in a small stream of water running perpendicular to the temple’s entrance, rinses his beefy hands and bows his burgundy-turbaned head as he enters Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh, the centuries-old Sikh temple at the heart of the neighborhood. Tall and stocky, with a chest-length black beard and large almond-shaped eyes, Darsha, 45, has been in Peshawar with his family of eight for 18 months now. He has been living in one of the 120 rooms the temple normally reserves for pilgrims, and relying on the temple’s charity for meals. Some 55 of these rooms are occupied by Sikh families displaced from other parts of the northwest, according to Sahab Singh, 32, a Sikh leader in the district assembly in Peshawar. (See India’s Sikhs and their long wait for justice.)

    In Darsha’s hometown, which was once Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud’s base, the insurgents demanded that the small indigenous Sikh community either convert to Islam, leave the land of their forebears or pay a 12 million rupee ($140,000) jizya – the medieval tax levied on non-Muslims in an Islamic state. The Taliban then provided incentive: forcibly occupying Sikh-owned shops and houses, demolishing almost a dozen homes and kidnapping several men, beheading two. The community banded together and managed to come up with about a quarter of the amount demanded by the Taliban.

    Darsha and a handful of Orakzai’s 50 other Sikh families, escaped from their homes, fleeing a Sunni region to friendlier Shi’ite area. Although Orakzai is the only one of the seven federally administered tribal areas that doesn’t border Afghanistan, that didn’t shield it from the influence of the war across the border. The local Taliban quickly capitalized on the agency’s simmering, decades-old sectarian conflict between the majority Sunnis and the 10% of the population that are Shi’ites, widening the rift. The Sikhs knew who their friends were. “The Shi’ites let us into their community because Sikhs aren’t involved in terrorism,” Darsha says. “Our grandfathers lived here. They know us. We have lived together for generations.”

    But they don’t live together anymore. Singh, along with all of Orakzai’s Sikh population, hastily fled just days after the military moved in to take on the militants last spring. “We left at 5 a.m.,” Darsha says, leaning forward away from the marble wall of the Sikh temple, his crossed legs sinking deeper into the ornate ruby red and deep navy patterned carpet adorning the wide, empty floor of the main hall. “It was a war situation, we were screaming to each other, ‘let’s go, run, now. we have to go’. We didn’t even bring any clothes with us.”

    Now Darsha, who used to be a businessman, is unemployed and spends most of his day meeting friends near the temple, walking through the bazaar and “waiting for peace.” He hasn’t received any government assistance. The Gurdwara has provided displaced families with accommodation, three daily meals, and a one-off payment of 3,000 rupees, all funded through private donations, says Sahab Singh.

    A few weeks ago, Darsha was buoyed by news that he had been waiting almost two years to hear. In late October Nadir Zeb, the inspector general of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, told a news conference that almost 90% of Orakzai had been cleared of Taliban, and that the 32,000 families that were forced to flee the agency could “return tomorrow.” Despite it being the second time in as many months that the security forces had announced that Orakzai had been pacified, Darsha and others Sikhs were reassured by the agency’s political representative that this time it really was safe enough to go home. So in early November some 26 vehicles, each car ferrying the menfolk of a particular Sikh family, headed out from Peshawar to Orakzai. It was so safe that the convoy only needed an armed Pakistani military escort of more than a dozen jeeps to secure its path.

    But there was little to celebrate upon arriving in Orakzai. “There’s nothing left of my house,” Darsha says. “It’s destroyed and everything has been looted. I couldn’t retrieve anything and I don’t have enough money to start a new business.” It was the same story for the other Sikh families. “We wanted to stay but we had nothing to stay for,” says Ameer Singh, 30, a textiles merchant and the father of two. “Nothing is left of those eight rooms,” he says, referring to his home. “Nothing.”

    After a week or so, the men returned disappointed to Peshawar. “The army is everywhere, throughout the town, so we felt safe, but in the mountains they’re still fighting,” says Darsha. “It’s hard to live there, because of all of the shelling, the firing, it’s so loud and it’s day and night.” But despite the community’s hardships, very few if any of Orakzai’s Sikhs, say they’re prepared to permanently leave the tribal territory. “People don’t want to go to India or other countries, because our businesses are here, our relatives are here,” says Sahab. “The Sikh community, it’s a small community but we’re all related to each other.” Darsha nods in agreement. He says he’s hoping that the third time he gets the all-clear will be the charm. “The Taliban have only been there for a few years,” he says. “We were there before them. Orakzai has been our home for longer.” “

  30. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

    Video on the Islamic Occupation of Constantinople, 1453 http://www.ellopos.com/blog/?p=627
    “This is a well constructed, short and accurate video on the 1453 Islamic attack to Constantinople: “Bands of soldiers began now looting. Doors were broken, private homes were looted, their tenants were massacred. Monasteries and Convents were broken in. Their tenants were killed, nuns were raped, many, to avoid dishonor, killed themselves. Killing, raping, looting, burning, enslaving, went on and on. Icons were destroyed, precious manuscripts were lost forever. Thousands of civilians were enslaved; soldiers fought over young boys and young women.”

    “A process of ethnic and religious cleansing begun by the Arab Muslims in the 7th century, and continued by the Ottoman Turkish Muslims in the 15th century, was completed by the new modern state of Turkey in the 20th century. The remaining pockets of Greek Christians on the North and West coasts were massacred or exiled, while 1.5 million Armenian Christians were decimated in the East, in a genocide that foreshadowed the Holocaust. It was an inspiration to Adolf Hitler who justified the viability of his radical plans by asking, ‘After all, who speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’”

    “And indeed, who speaks today about the Fall of Constantinople? Turkey today is 99% Muslim. The native populations have been exterminated or expelled. There is no one to protest, no one to start an uprising, no one to appeal to the UN and EU to send troops and break the occupation. For 555 years the city of Constantinople has suffered a deep cosmic humiliation, and only the skeletons of the ancient buildings, silent witness to it all, are there to protest.””

  31. Stockholm attack

  32. Wake up Europe. This was never about only “Hindus.” This has always been about non-Muslims/infidels and non-Islamic states/infidel states run by non-Muslims/infidels. Hindus are just the main (but not the only) target of Islam in India. Europe is also in the cross hairs, as are all the states in the entire world that are not Islamic where infidels govern themselves:

    ” Säpo’s (the Swedish security police) report on violent Islamist extremism in Sweden [pdf] is in many ways meritorious, but suffers from many serious deficiencies: it does not deal with the Islamism that is not supportive of violence, and it does not mention the radical Islamists’ ideology in its discussion. In the following I intend to summarize the report, emphasize the most relevant aspects and state something about its deficiencies. Since the report is available on the Internet, I will avoid page references; the quotations are easy to find by searching in the PDF-file.

    Säpo establishes that there are a number of networks in Sweden that actively spread radical (what Säpo calls “violence-accepting”) Islamic ideology. The ideology is treated as uniform by Säpo (it is shared by “most of them”). The ideology has very specific targets: part of their propaganda is against “foreign troops in Muslim countries”, part is against “regimes that are regarded by the networks as corrupt and don’t uphold the interpretation of Islam that the networks regard as the only truth”, and part is also against caricaturists.

    Here we at once see that radical Islamism is rooted in the religion of Islam. Radical Islamism’s attitude towards Islam’s orthodoxy — whether it diverges from established Islamic theology and jurisprudence — is something that Säpo is interested in, and after having read the report I am unfortunately forced to admit that they are not capable of doing that analysis. Säpo protects itself in an elegant way against possible accusations of taking sides in the intra-Islamic debate — the wording “the interpretations of Islam that the networks regard as the only truth” protects Säpo against unserious criticism. But at the same time it makes them unable to understand fully the incentives and the prime movers of the suicide bomber.

    The question to ask is the following: why is it a problem for radical Islamists (or more easily expressed, Jihadists) that there are non-Muslim troops in Muslim countries? Because Jihad, which means holy war, both in the sense of invading non-Muslim countries and imposing Sharia law (which is not the same thing as converting all people into Islam) — the offensive Jihad — and defending Muslim countries against attacks — the defensive Jihad — considers only whether the countries to be defended are Muslim. According to Sharia, (Islam’s jurisprudence; Jihad is a part of Sharia) it does not matter that Afghanistan and Iraq were governed by tyrants that tormented their own inhabitants and, in the case of Saddam Hussein, it does not matter that he initiated aggression against his neighbours. It does not matter that the Taliban oppressed the people — it was still not legitimate for non-Muslim countries to invade Afghanistan, since the doctrine of Jihad expressly opposes this. The war that is waged today by the Western Powers is usually seen a humanitarian intervention, but this concept completely lacks meaning for Muslims who take the doctrine of Jihad seriously. Non-Muslims do not have the right to invade Muslim countries, no matter how badly the latter behave, while Muslims has an imperative, collective obligation to invade non-Muslim countries. This is what is behind the violent Islamic extremists’ focus on non-Muslim invasions of Muslim countries — they know what Sharia says about the matter, and apply Sharia, Islamic law (which is by definition not radical or extreme; Sharia is Islam’s orthopraxy, and if Sharia is radical, it means that Islam in itself is radical).

    The discussion in the paragraph above may well apply to the Jihadists’ struggle against regimes that are regarded as insufficiently Islamic. Among other things, Sharia comprises rules for how the state shall be governed, and how the state shall act towards non-Muslim countries. The purpose of the Islamic state is to see that Sharia law is applied and followed. An Islamic state is a state that applies Sharia; the Islamic state is ruled according to Sharia. Offensive Jihad aims at forcing the whole of mankind to obey Sharia. It is not the existence of non-Muslims that is problematic, according Sharia: it is the existence of non-Muslim states. According to Sharia, non-Muslims simply do not have any right to govern their own countries. The same impulse that is behind the doctrine of offensive Jihad is behind the Jihadists’ criticism of Muslim states that do not practice Sharia in the right way (according to the Jihadists). Whether the states in question apply Sharia in a correct manner is first and foremost an intra-Islamic question: the most important point for us non-Muslims to realize is that the root of the evil is Sharia, the decrees of Islamic law.

    That said, one does not need to be too anxious about the Jihadists that live in Sweden devoting themselves to practicing Sharia. They amount to about two hundred people, and most of them seem to know each other. The networks are not so coordinated that they can plan and carry out joint actions. Up until now many Jihadists living in Sweden have traveled to other countries and participated in Jihad; the suicide bomber in Stockholm is a break in the trend. More disquieting is the fact that Jihadists who have killed people in other countries have been radicalized in Sweden. Jihadism is thus spreading in Sweden, by immigrants and converts that apparently act relatively undisturbed. Exactly which persons are behind the process of radicalization in Sweden is not evident from the report. The report establishes that Jihadism in Sweden does not constitute any threat against “the fundamental structures of society, Sweden’s form of government or its central state management”, and nor is there anything that indicates that the number of Jihadists is increasing. The threat should thus not be exaggerated, but nor should it be minimized; we have seen examples of the latter when Europol’s terror reports are brought forward in order to show that the Islamic threat is limited. Säpo’s report establishes that the EU’s member states estimate that “Terrorism motivated by Islamism constitutes the greatest threat, since it usually intends indiscriminate attacks with large damage”. The threatening picture consequently does not depend on the number of executed or averted acts of terror, but on the objective of the terrorists; the only ones that have the aim to kill as many civilians as possible are Muslim terrorists.

    The report shows the relation between local events in the Western World that are mentioned and become part of global Jihadism. The examples are, not very surprisingly, the Mohammed cartoons in Denmark and Lars Vilks’ roundabout dog. Here one can see an interaction between isolated occurrences and a denationalized ideology that urges all Muslims around the world to exact revenge on those who “insult Islam”. The report does not pay attention to the fact that this reaction is conditioned by Sharia, and works in approximately the same way as exhortations to participate in Jihad. The defensive Jihad is formulated in order to defend Muslim countries from attacks and is adapted to situations where the leadership in the attacked country is not capable of repelling the invader (unlike the offensive Jihad, that must be led by a legitimate ruler, i.e. a caliph, which also explains why Al Qaeda want to re-establish the caliphate). If a Muslim country has been invaded, Muslims from other countries must go there and fight. The defensive Jihad works according to the principle “make circles on the water” — if the attacked country is not defended, more Muslims from even more countries will be involved and go there. It is a question of an international, cross-border solidarity with other Muslims; the solidarity is of a religious type, not nationalistic. The fact that Saudis go to Afghanistan in order to defend Islam military is comparable with the Somali who tried to kill Kurt Westergaard.

    Religion is central to both cases, and the Jihadists’ actions are conditioned by the provisions of Sharia. When Jihadists ask themselves how they should react to a certain incident, they look at what Sharia says about it. This is valid both for the Jihad and attacks on Mohammed. According to Sharia, all who criticize Mohammed should immediately be executed. Attacks on Mohammed are met in the same way as attacks on Muslim countries. And since Sharia imposes capital punishment for criticism of Mohammed, Jihadists react to such criticism by trying to kill those who blaspheme Mohammed. If Sharia did not impose capital punishment for this, the Jihadists would probably react differently. One more time: The provisions of Islam (more specifically Sharia) condition the appropriate the reactions of the believers. The Jihadists apply Sharia, i.e. normative Islamic law.

    Nothing of this is explained in the Säpo report. The body of Islamic law, which is very much relevant for the comprehension of the Jihadists’ actions, is not discussed in the report: “As a police authority with responsibility for preventing and combating terrorism, the focus of the Security Service is on the safety-threatening activity that persons in Sweden carry out, not on the arguments and ideas with which this activity is motivated and is justified.” This cannot be seen as anything other than a serious deficiency. However, in spite of Säpo’s lack of interest in or ignorance of Sharia, Sharia pops up anyway, particularly if one reads between the lines. The attacks on Muslim states that are regarded as inadequately Islamic aim at replacing these regimes with “a new regime based on a certain interpretation of Sharia” (cf. later, “The aim is to introduce a certain type of Islamic regime in different areas by way of violence”). It is also this objective that is partly used in order to make clear which persons are legitimate targets: “In general one can say that those who are regarded as obstacles to the establishment of an Islamic regime also are regarded as legitimate targets for violence.” The Jihadists who work to implement Sharia “are to be regarded as central actors with relatively long experience as a part of to the established violent Islamist environment”. Here Sharia and the Jihad converge. Jihad aims at establishing Sharia — but this can also be done through non-violent, democratic methods. The most important observation by Säpo, however, is that there are experienced, genuinely dangerous Jihadists in Sweden who work to implement Sharia with the intent of establishing Islamist states (a notion that also is to be found in the threatening letter of the suicide bomber). This is something that all Jihadists and non-radical Islamist organizations round the world have in common: terrorism is only one method; the Caliphate may be the objective, but the main thing is that they apply Sharia’s decrees. This explains why Somali Jihadists execute suspected adulterers and excavate Sufi graves. If one only takes an interest in terrorism (which is a tool) and the deadly violence that is directed towards non-Muslims or insufficiently Muslim soldiers, one does not see the overall picture. Only when one considers Sharia as a whole can one explain why Jihadists do what they do (murdering women who may have had sex with the wrong man has nothing to do with combating a foreign occupation).

    That Säpo does not properly understand how Sharia is constituted is problematic, but at least as problematic is the fact that Säpo does not take an interest in the Islamists who share the ideology of the Jihadists, but choose other methods to attain their goals. This is of course due to the fact that coverage of non-violent Islamism is not embraced by Säpo’s assignments, but that is why there is a gap in the coverage of antisocial individuals and organizations. Hizb ut-Tahrir works for a caliphate; al-Qaeda works for a caliphate; only al-Qaeda is monitored by Säpo. Säpo make clear that “anti-democratic acts such as not recognizing persons’ equality, but without using or supporting violence” can be “problematic in other perspectives”, but it is not the task of Säpo to cover this. The wording about all people’s equality is of course interesting — Sharia applies sex apartheid, commands aggression against non-Muslim states, and punishes adultery, open homosexuality and conversion to another religion with capital punishment, and is thus compatible with neither the Swedish constitution, UN’s declaration on human rights, or the European convention on human rights. This is important to bear in mind when listening to Islamists recommending the application of Sharia, even though only in certain issues. The Islamists who want Sharia to be applied to marriage law do the same thing as al Qaeda: they fight for Sharia; certainly other aspects of Sharia, but the systems are the same in both cases.

    My personal opinion is that democratic Islamists — those who “accept and work politically within existing parliamentary systems” — are far more dangerous than the Jihadists, since they, unlike these, are regarded as relatively harmless. The Muslim Brotherhood, the most powerful Islamic organization in the world, works through democratic methods to introduce Sharia law, and for the Islamization of the Western World (the Muslim members of the Swedish parliament, Mehmet Kaplan and Abderisak Waberi, have both cooperated with the FIOE, the co-ordinating European organization for the Muslim Brotherhood). Al-Qaeda is not a member of the Swedish parliament; on the other hand, in Sweden’s parliament are members who openly co-operate with the Muslim Brotherhood, the chief ideologue of which, Sayyid Qutb, formulated the modern Jihadist ideology, and the armed branch of which is Hamas. It ought to be apparent which of these organizations represents the more serious threat against Sweden’s democracy.

    Another problem with the report is the drastically inadequate discussion of terminology, which gives the impression that Säpo is making an effort not to offend Muslims; either this is the case, or else Säpo is ignorant about Islam. In a note Jihad is defined:

    The Arabic word Jihad means “ambition” or “effort”. The notion is used to describe a spiritual ambition that principally has to do with every Muslim’s ambition to follow God’s will. It can also be used in the sense of holy war till in defense of those who constitute a threat against Islam. Violent Islamist groups assume this interpretation in order to justify different types of violent acts.

    Jihad certainly means ambition/effort, and can mean a moral struggle to become a better Muslim. This interpretation of the notion originates from the Sufi tradition, and has insufficient support in the muniments of Islam. There is, however, no contradiction between the notions of Jihad as a moral struggle and a holy war respectively. Classical Sufism saw the moral struggle as the necessary condition for the holy war: it is not until one has been “purified” and is prepared for a fight only for Allah (and not for material belongings) that it is possible to participate in the holy war. The definition that is to be found in Islamic law manuals is also the most recent meaning — there is no legislation on Jihad as a moral struggle, but there is legislation on Jihad as a holy war. That Säpo then regards the holy war as a defensive war shows that they either deliberately ignore or are ignorant of the fact that Jihad has an offensive dimension. Whatever the explanation is, the formulation found in the report is alarming. Another note, about the word “Mujaheddin”, is just as problematic:

    Mujaheddin is the plural form of the Arabic word mujahid. Mujahid literally means “the one who makes an effort” and has in Islamic tradition been a term for those who engage in struggle for defence of Islam. The notion is used in a romanticizing way by violent Islamist groups in order to describe those who defend Islam with violence against a perceived attack. In these environments, the notion is used with the rough meaning of “holy warriors”, and can refer to those who participate in armed conflicts and to those who perform attempts outside areas of conflicts.

    From this note, one could get the impression that the Jihadists themselves invented the idea that Mujaheddin means holy warrior. Here Säpo again misses that Jihad can be either offensive or defensive: in the former case Jihad is a collective duty (fard kifaya), in the latter case it is an individual duty that is incumbent on every Muslim (fard ayn). The one who perchance states that Jihad only means defensive war may very well explain why Sharia in that case separates Jihad as a collective duty from Jihad as an individual duty.

    Jihad doctrine mandates also that you as a Muslim have a duty to support those who participate in the holy war, if you are not able to participate yourself. This is something that Säpo makes a note of: “propaganda is made for the importance of financial and moral support for Mujaheddin”; they also note that the Jihadists describe it as desirable to “die for Islam and thus become a martyr”, which “is described as the most beautiful that is possible to reach”. Jihadists “point at promises of what is awaiting the martyrs in the life to come”. It ought to be noticed that none of this deviates in any way from orthodox Islamic theology and jurisprudence. There are several hadith in which Mohammed promises his warriors that they shall enter Paradise if they die in combat for the sake of Islam. That Säpo uses the word “martyr” about the Islamic notion of “shahid” is moreover to be regretted — an Islamic martyr is someone who dies while he participates in a war against the unbelievers, while a Christian martyr is someone who permits himself to be killed for his faith. This is a profound difference.

    The last deficiency I want to discuss is Säpo’s notion of how radicalization can be counteracted. They point at the fact that “increased knowledge of Islam can work as a way out of the violent environment”, which is a remarkable statement, considering that it is often knowledge of Islam, particularly Sharia, that transforms ordinary Muslims into Jihadists. Just today the police followed up the report by proposing to actively “increase the knowledge of Islam”, and the “local police, local decision-makers and other authorities concerned” are encouraged to establish a “better dialogue” with Muslim groups; whether this dialogue includes an open dialogue on Sharia and Jihad is not evident. It is worth noticing that some of the Muslims who have been interviewed in connection with the draft of the report make requests for “better instruction on Islam in Swedish schools”. It is appropriate to ask: why? Because “deeper knowledge of the religion”, according to the report, is “a way of rendering it more difficult for recruiters to mislead young people”; so is “knowledge a way of avoiding misunderstandings that are founded on a incorrect picture of Islam”. It is a bit amusing that Säpo here are making themselves into Islamologists and saying that there is a distorted picture of Islam, and thus of necessity a correct picture of Islam (to compare with their own earlier neutrality on this question), while at the same time one can assume that the debate follows will be on the conditions set by the “interest groups”. At worst the Muslims that will take part in the debate, insofar as they have a self-interest in not discussing Islamist law with Säpo, will individually avoid the most important factor in understanding why the Jihadists do what they do.

    A feeling of distress appears after having read the report. Säpo does not discuss the ideology of the Jihadists, nor do they discuss “democratic” Islamism; they use terminology in a vague way, and their recommendations on how to solve the problems of Jihadism sound like the clichés on “insufficient integration” we have been fed for years and days (“experiences of isolation and discrimination, together with segregation and unemployment, [are] some of the most common motives for radicalization”; “To improve people’s situation concerning work, residence and education thus stands out as one the largest and comprehensive tasks for national actors”). It is apparent that the serious, critical debate on Islam’s relation with Jihadism must be held by someone else than Säpo.” http://politisktinkorrekt.info/2010/12/18/sapos-rapport-om-valdsbejakande-islamsk-extremism/

  33. “Mindslaughter” by those on the left AND by those on the right in several countries around the world:

    “See No Sharia Mindslaughter
    December 24th, 2010 by Andrew Bostom |

    Robert Conquest, the pre-eminent scholar of Soviet Communist totalitarianism, in his elucidation of Western vulnerability to totalitarian ideologies, wrote that democracy itself is, “far less a matter of institutions than habits of mind”—the latter being subject to constant “stresses and strains.” He then notes the disturbingly widespread acceptance of totalitarian concepts amongst the ordinary citizens of pluralist Western societies.

    Many in the West gave their full allegiance to these alien beliefs. Many others were at any rate not ill disposed towards them. And beyond that there was…a sort of secondary infection of the mental atmosphere of the West which still to some degree persists, distorting thought in countries that escaped the more wholesale disasters of our time.

    But Conquest evinces no sympathy for those numerous “Western intellectuals or near intellectuals” of the 1930s through the 1950s whose willful delusions about the Soviet Union, “will be incredible to later students of mental aberration.” His critique of Western media highlights a cultural self-loathing tendency which has persisted and intensified over the intervening decades, through the present.

    One role of the democratic media is, of course, to criticize their own governments, draw attention to the faults and failings of their own country. But when this results in a transfer of loyalties to a far worse and thoroughly inimical culture, or at least to a largely uncritical favoring of such a culture, it becomes a morbid affliction—involving, often enough, the uncritical acceptance of that culture’s own standards.

    Mindslaughter, Redux

    Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich delivered a singularly astute and courageous address this past July 29, 2010. Reactions to that speech across the political spectrum, whether immediate or delayed, illustrate the contemporary equivalent of what Conquest appositely characterized as “mindslaughter”—a brilliantly evocative term for delusive Western apologetics regarding the ideology of Communism, and the tangible horrors its Communist votaries inflicted. What did Newt Gingrich have the temerity to discuss? In defiance of our era’s most rigidly enforced cultural relativist taboo, Mr. Gingrich provided an irrefragably accurate, if blunt characterization of the existential threat posed by Islam’s living, self-professed mission—to impose Sharia, its totalitarian, religio-political “law,” globally.

    With vanishingly rare intellectual honesty and resolve, Gingrich described how normative Sharia—antithetical to bedrock Western legal principles—by “divine,” immutable diktat, rejects freedom of conscience, while sanctioning violent jihadism, absurd, misogynistc “rules of evidence” (four male witnesses for rape), barbarous punishments (stoning for adultery), and polygamy.

    Sharia in its natural form has principles and punishments totally abhorrent to the Western world, and the underlying basic belief which is that law comes directly from God and is therefore imposed upon humans and no human can change the law without it being an act of apostasy is a fundamental violation of a tradition in the Western system which goes back to Rome, Athens and Jerusalem and which has evolved in giving us freedom across the planet on a scale we can hardly imagine and which is now directly threatened by those who would impose it.

    Moreover, Gingrich warned about efforts—deliberate, or unwitting—to represent Sharia as a benign system.

    So let me also be quite clear that the rules are radical and horrific. I think again it’s fascinating that even when people go out and do polling and they say to, for example, Muslims in general, do you believe in Sharia, they don’t then explain what Sharia is. Sharia becomes like would you like to be a Rotarian and it sounds okay.

    Gingrich’s unflinching portrayal of the existential threat Sharia represents—whether or not this totalitarian system is imposed by violent, or non-violent means—was accompanied by a clarion call for concrete measures to oppose any Sharia encroachment on the US legal code.

    Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence. But in fact they’re both engaged in jihad and they’re both seeking to impose the same end state which is to replace Western civilization with a [radical] imposition of Sharia.

    The fight against Sharia and the madrassas in mosques which teach hatred and fanaticism is the heart of the enemy movement from which the terrorists spring forth. It’s time we had a national debate on this. One of the things I’m going to suggest today is a federal law which says no court anywhere in the United States under any circumstance is allowed to consider Sharia as a replacement for American law.

    Reminiscent of Conquest’s earlier assessment of Leftist apologists for Communism—and anticipating reactions to his own speech, albeit from “See No Sharia” cultural relativists not confined to the Left—Gingrich also wondered,

    How we don’t have some kind of movement in this country on the left that understands that Sharia is a direct mortal threat to virtually every value that the left has is really one of the most interesting historical questions and will someday lead to many dissertations being written.

    The ensuing vitriolic, if predictable attacks on Gingrich, and/ or anti-Sharia state legislative initiatives his speech tacitly endorsed (i.e., in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Tennessee), mirror analogous diatribes from Western Communist sympathizers and witless sycophants during the Soviet era. George Orwell trenchantly characterized this particular aspect of Western pro-Communist mindslaughter, and the attitudes it engendered towards those deemed “rabidly anti-Communist”.

    The upshot is that if from time to time you express a mild distaste for slave-labor camps or one-candidate elections, you are either insane or actuated by the worst motives. In the same way when Henry Wallace is asked by a newspaper interviewer why he issues falsified versions of his speeches to the press, he replies: “So you must be one of those people who are clamoring for war with Russia.” There is the milder kind of ridicule that consists in pretending that reasoned opinion is indistinguishable from an absurd out-of-date prejudice. If you do not like Communism you are a Red-baiter.

    Responses to Gingrich’s speech, when not ignoring the factual content of his presentation, or engaging in ridiculous casuistry (pretentiously, if clumsily put forth as [semi-]educated “nuance”), offered mendacious, bowdlerized portrayals of living Islamic doctrine and its historical consequences, past as prologue to the present. But a collective wealth of unambiguous evidence—readily available—reveals the breathtaking shallowness and intellectual dishonesty of these self-righteous attacks on Gingrich, and US state anti-Sharia initiatives, including: objective, erudite analyses of the Sharia by leading Western scholars of Islam; the acknowledgment of Sharia’s global “resurgence,” even by post-modern, “anti-colonial” (i.e., against Western colonialism, not Islamic jihad colonialism!) academic apologists for Islam, combined with an abundance of recent polling data from Muslim nations, and Muslim immigrant communities in the West confirming the ongoing, widespread adherence to the Sharia’s tenets; the plaintive warnings and admonitions of contemporary Muslim intellectuals—freethinkers and believers, alike—about the incompatibility of Sharia with modern, Western-derived conceptions of universal human rights; and the overt promulgation of traditional, Sharia-based Muslim legal systems as an integrated whole (i.e., extending well beyond mere “family law aspects” of the Sharia), by authoritative, mainstream international and North American Islamic religio-political organizations.

    Seeing Sharia Through the Prism of Serious Western Scholarship

    According to the most authoritative 20th century Western Islamic legal scholar, Joseph Schacht (d. 1969), the Sharia, or “clear path to be followed,” is the “canon law of Islam,” which “denotes all the individual prescriptions composing it.” Schacht traces the use of the term Sharia to Koranic verses such as 45:18, 42:13, 42:21, and 5:48, noting an “old definition” of the Sharia by the seminal Koranic commentator and early Muslim historian Tabari (d. 923), as comprising the law of inheritance, various commandments and prohibitions, and the so-called “hadd” punishments. These latter draconian punishments, defined by the Muslim prophet Muhammad either in the Koran, or the hadith (the canonical collections of Muhammad’s deeds and pronouncements), included: (lethal) stoning for adultery; death for apostasy; death for highway robbery, when accompanied by murder of the robbery victim; for simple highway robbery, the loss of hands and feet; for simple theft, cutting off of the right hand; for “fornication,” a hundred lashes; for drinking wine, eighty lashes. As Schacht further notes, Sharia ultimately evolved to become “…understood [as] the totality of Allah’s commandments relating to the activities of man.” The holistic Sharia, he continues, is nothing less than Islam’s quintessence, “…the Sharia is the most characteristic phenomenon of Islamic thought and forms the nucleus of Islam itself.” But Schacht then delineates additional salient characteristics of the Sharia which have created historically insurmountable obstacles to its reform, through our present era.

    Allah’s law is not to be penetrated by the intelligence…i.e., man has to accept it without criticism, with its apparent inconsistencies and its incomprehensible decrees, as wisdom into which it is impossible to enquire [inquire]. One must not look in it for causes in our sense, nor for principles; it is based on the will of Allah which is bound by no principles, therefore evasions are considered as a permissible means put at one’s disposal by Allah himself.

    Muslim law…has always been considered by its followers as something elevated, high above human wisdom, and as a matter of fact human logic or system has little share in it.

    For this very reason, the Sharia is not “law”in the modern sense of the word, any more than it is on account of its subject matter. It comprises without restriction, as an infallible doctrine of duties the whole of the religious, political, social, domestic and private life of those who profess Islam, and the activities of the tolerated members of other faiths so far as they may not be detrimental to Islam.

    Independently endorsing Schacht’s views, Professor Carl Brockelmann (1868-1956), the renowned scholar of Semitic languages, and arguably the foremost Orientalist of his generation, made these candid observations about the Sharia’s injunctions pertaining to jihad, and penal law, in 1939—Islamic Law being “valid” eternally, and all too widely applied in Brockelmann’s era, till now.

    The Muslim may show only hostility to infidels when encountered: war against them is a religious duty. Idol-worshippers must always be attacked without more ado, Jews and Christians, however, only after they have ignored a summons made three times, to accept Islam. After defeat the men are to be killed, women and children sold into slavery. Whoever is killed in the Holy War [Jihad] is sure of paradise, as a martyr. In addition, it is permitted to conclude treaties with Jews and Christians, following the example of the Prophet; later on the Parsee Zoroastrians were placed on the same level as these “People of the Book.” But the obligation of the Holy War is merely postponed by such contracts, not annulled.

    The penal code of Islam has remained on a rather primitive level and only marks a slight advance over the ancient pagan concepts of law. The murderer is subject to death through blood vengeance; manslaughter through negligence is recompensed by an indemnity to the survivors. Bodily injuries may be atoned for by the culprit according to the principles of lex talionis—but the culprit may also redeem himself by paying damages. Theft is punished by amputation of the right hand, in case of relapse by additional maiming. Adultery is punished by a hundred strokes of the lash; but if an infidel seduces a Muslim woman, he is subject to the death penalty. Blasphemy with respect to God [Allah], the Prophet, and his predecessors is punished by death, as is defection from Islam, if the culprit persists in his disbelief.

    Another important mid 20th century scholar of Islamic Law, G.H. Bousquet (d. 1978), explained how Islam’s unique institution of jihad war, and its eternal quest to impose the Sharia on all of humanity, represented a “dual” totalitarianism. Writing in 1950, Bousquet further warned that these ancient Muslim doctrines remained vibrant, and relevant to the modern era.

    Islam first came before the world as a doubly totalitarian system. It claimed to impose itself on the whole world and it claimed also, by the divinely appointed Muhammadan law, by the principles of fiqh, to regulate down to the smallest details the whole life of the Islamic community and of every individual believer…Viewed from this angle, the study of Muhammadan Law (dry and forbidding though it may appear to be to those who confine themselves to the indispensable study of the fiqh), is of great importance to the world of today.

    Two prominent, enduring trends have reinforced this doctrinal, Sharia-based totalitarianism.

    Contra Judaism and Christianity, Islam’s history never compelled Muslim religious leaders to re-examine their basic assumptions concerning power and faith. Moreover, Islamic religio-political doctrine does not recognize individual liberties, even as an abstraction. The independent existence of objective universal truths is not acknowledged by normative Islamic doctrine. Unless decreed to be so by a notoriously mercurial Allah, nothing is either good or evil. Murder, even today, is merely forbidden by Allah in the Koran, it isn’t innately immoral. Thus, as Islamic legal historian N.J. Coulson (d. 1986) observed,

    The stress…throughout the entire Sharia, lies upon the duty of the individual to act in accordance with the divine injunctions; and since the continuous application of these injunctions is declared the purpose of the political authority, the jurists did not visualize any conflict between the ruler and the ruled.

    The Islamic understanding of “freedom,” or hurriyya, is — as Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) the lionized “Greatest Sufi Master,” expressed it — “perfect slavery.” And this conception is not merely confined to the Sufis’ perhaps metaphorical understanding of the relationship between Allah the “master” and his human “slaves.”

    Bernard Lewis, in his Encyclopedia of Islam analysis of hurriyya, discusses this concept in the latter phases of the Ottoman Empire, through the mid-20th century era. After highlighting a few “cautious” or “conservative” (Lewis’ characterization) reformers and their writings, Lewis maintains,

    …there is still no idea that the subjects have any right to share in the formation or conduct of government—to political freedom, or citizenship, in the sense which underlies the development of political thought in the West. While conservative reformers talked of freedom under law, and some Muslim rulers even experimented with councils and assemblies government was in fact becoming more and not less arbitrary….

    Lewis also makes the important point that Western colonialism ameliorated this chronic situation:

    During the period of British and French domination, individual freedom was never much of an issue. Though often limited and sometimes suspended, it was on the whole more extensive and better protected than either before or after. [emphasis added]

    And Lewis concludes his entry by observing that Islamic societies forsook even their inchoate democratic experiments,

    In the final revulsion against the West, Western democracy too was rejected as a fraud and a delusion, of no value to Muslims.

    Elsewhere, writing contemporaneously (i.e., in 1955) on democratic institutions in the Islamic Middle East, Lewis conceded that at least “equality and fraternity” between Muslims were accepted. But even here Lewis included a major caveat with regard to “liberty,” whose Islamic formulation might never resemble John Stuart Mill’s conception in “On Liberty,” punctuated by a reference to “Alice in Wonderland” making plain Lewis’ assessment of the likely superficial (at best) outcome of Muslim democratization efforts:

    …perhaps it may be possible to extend them beyond it [the Muslim community] adding a redefined liberty [emphasis added], to make a new kind of democracy. Only “the question is” as Alice remarked, “whether you can [emphasis in original] make words mean so many different things.”

    American constitutional and governmental models, specifically, were ignored, and ultimately, Lewis viewed this immediate post-World War II era of democratic experimentation by Muslim societies as an objective failure, with the possible exception of developments, at that time, in Turkey.

    The machinery which works well in the West may not work in other countries. Except perhaps in Turkey, our kind of democracy appears to have failed in the Muslim Middle East.

    This pessimistic, if apposite 1955 assessment is all the more remarkable, in retrospect, over a half century later, because Lewis was critiquing what turned out to have been the Muslim world’s high water mark towards creating indigenous, democratic institutions, and societies.

    Seeing Sharia’s Resurgence—Muslim Acknowledgement, Popular Sentiment, and Fears

    Wael B. Hallaq, former James McGill Professor of Islamic Law at McGill University (and currently the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University), has acknowledged that a “fundamental feature” of traditional Islam’s resurgence,

    …is the constant and consistent popular call to restore the Sharia (which he identifies as “the religious law of Islam”)…The call dominates the discourse of modern Muslims, and the tracts, pamphlets and books expounding this call are legion.

    Hallaq further maintains that,

    During the past two and a half decades, this call has grown ever more forceful, generating religious movements, a vast amount of literature, and affecting world politics. There is no doubt that Islamic law today is a significant cornerstone in the reaffirmation of Islamic identity, not only as a matter of positive law but also, and more importantly, as the foundation of a cultural uniqueness. Indeed, for many of today’s Muslims, to live by Islamic law is not merely a legal issue, but one that is distinctly psychological.

    Of course, being a champion of the “post-colonial”, pseudo-academic drivel popularized by the late Edward Said, Hallaq, as an axiom, blames Western imperialist bogeymen, almost exclusively (if mindlessly) for this intrinsic Muslim—and Islamic—Sharia “revival” phenomenon.

    The 20th century, starting by the mid-1920s, witnessed sincere, but ultimately doomed secularization experiments aimed at de-politicizing, if not de-sacralizing the Sharia in Republican Turkey, Iran, and later, Pakistan. Secular autocrats—Ataturk in Republican Turkey, the Pahlavi Shahs in Iran—made brutal attempts to abrogate the primacy of the Sharia’s legal jurisdiction altogether, while largely secular Pakistani ruling elites attempted to use an extraordinarily elastic interpretation of traditional “ijtihad,” or deductive Islamic legal reasoning, combined with historical apologetics, to forge a “modernist Sharia,” ostensibly comporting with Western human rights standards. Inevitably, however, consistent with the deep-seated, conservative Islamic religious sentiments of the Muslim masses in all these countries, traditional Sharia has re-emerged, triumphant. Even Turkey, literally within a decade of Ataturk’s death in 1938, began its inexorable Islamic resurgence, as chronicled with striking prescience by historian Uriel Heyd, in 1968. By the end of the 1970s, Iran was fully “restored” to a Shiite theocracy, and Pakistan a de facto Sunni Sharia state, while the burgeoning influence of Turkey’s pious Muslim masses—already apparent then—has culminated in the popular election of fundamentalist, Sharia-supporting regimes under Erbakan, and subsequently his acolyte, Erdogan.

    Repeated survey data from the world’s largest Muslim nations, and even Muslim communities within the West, as well as the ongoing, aggressive Organization of the Islamic Conference campaign to constrain all international human rights within an overarching “Sharia-complaint” framework, make plain that the traditional Islamic jihad imperative to impose the Sharia, globally, is a disturbing present day reality.

    Polling data released April 24, 2007 from a rigorously conducted face-to-face University of Maryland/ WorldPublicOpinion.org interview survey of 4384 Muslims conducted between December 9, 2006 and February 15, 2007—1000 Moroccans, 1000 Egyptians, 1243 Pakistanis, and 1141 Indonesians—revealed that 65.2% of those interviewed-almost 2/3, hardly a “fringe minority”—desired this outcome (i.e., “To unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate”), including 49% of “moderate” Indonesian Muslims. The internal validity of these data about the present longing for a totalitarian Caliphate was strongly suggested by a concordant result: 65.5% of this Muslim sample approved the proposition “To require a strict [emphasis added] application of Sharia law in every Islamic country.” More recent follow-up surveys reported by the same polling group February 25, 2009 confirmed these 2006/2007 findings, as have subsequent data published independently by Pew (12/2/10).

    Such irredentist attitudes are shared to an alarming extent by an important Muslim immigrant community in the West—British Muslims. A poll of 600 British Muslim college students revealed that one-third support killing in the name of Islam, while 40 percent want to the Sharia to replace British law. And Sharia indoctrination of British Muslim youth begins well before college entry. A BBC Panorama investigation has revealed the presence in Britain of 40 “weekend schools” attended by some 5000 Muslim children aged 6-18. These schools teach the British Muslim youth who attend them, for example, traditional Islamic motifs of Jew-hatred, and mutilating Sharia punishments—as per the Saudi National Curriculum—under the rubric of “Saudi Students Clubs and Schools in the UK and Ireland.” These BBC revelations validate prescient warnings made almost two decades earlier by the late respected British scholar of Islam, Dr. Mervyn Hiskett, in Some to Mecca Turn to Pray. Hiskett noted then (i.e., in 1993) the prevailing opinion among leaders of the British Muslim community that unless Muslim immigrants to Britain were allowed unrestrained access to Islamic Law, Sharia, in all aspects, Britain was to be regarded, Dar-al-Harb, or the House of War, i.e., the target of jihadism. Citing what he characterized as “a more urbane but some may consider ominous statement of the Muslim intention to brook no opposition,” Hiskett quoted Zaki Badawi (d. 2006), a Muslim scholar, and former Director of the Islamic Cultural Center, London, who was made an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) in 2004, and also appointed by The Duke of Castro as a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Francis I. Incidentally Badawi, an Egyptian Muslim, never became a British subject although he had lived in the country for more than 30 years, and had received all manner of honors there. Badawi opined,

    A proseltyzing religion cannot stand still. It can either expand or contract. Islam endeavors to expand in Britain. Islam is a universal religion. It aims at bringing its message to all corners of the earth. It hopes that one day the whole humanity will be one Muslim community, the “Umma.”

    The “urbane,” “moderate” Muslim Badawi’s “vision” for British society—so recently deemed unthinkable—now seems eminently plausible, as Britain appears well on its way to full integration into the obscurantist Muslim umma, rife with traditional Islamic Jew-hatred, and all other aspects of Sharia-sanctioned, totalitarian barbarity.

    Viewed in this context, the global Sharia-promoting Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) agenda simply embodies the desires of its individual Muslim constituencies. The 1990 Cairo Declaration, or so-called “Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam”, was drafted and subsequently ratified by all the Muslim member nations of the OIC. Both the preamble and concluding articles (24 and 25) make plain that the OIC‘s Cairo Declaration is designed to supersede Western conceptions of human rights as enunciated, for example, in the US Bill of Rights, and the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The opening of the preamble to the Cairo Declaration repeats a Koranic injunction affirming Islamic supremacism, (Koran 3:110; “You are the best nation ever brought forth to men…you believe in Allah”), and its last articles 24 and 25, maintain, [article 24], “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Sharia”; and [article 25] “The Islamic Sharia is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification to any of the articles of this Declaration.” The gravely negative implications of the OIC’s Sharia-based Cairo Declaration are most apparent in its transparent rejection of freedom of conscience in Article 10, which proclaims:

    Islam is the religion of unspoiled nature. It is prohibited to exercise any form of compulsion on man or to exploit his poverty or ignorance in order to convert him to another religion, or to atheism.

    Ominously, articles 19 and 22 reiterate a principle stated elsewhere throughout the document, which clearly applies to the “punishment” of so-called “apostates” from Islam:

    [19d] There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Sharia.”

    [22a] Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Sharia.
    [22b] Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Sharia.
    [22c] Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.

    Following the initial printing of the banal, if now infamous Danish “Muhammad cartoons,” OIC Secretary General Ihsanoglu had denounced, “…the publication of blasphemous and insulting caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.” He concluded that this “Islamophobic” act of “sacrilege” somehow contravened, “…international principles, values, and ethics enshrined in the various resolutions and declarations of the United Nations.” These sentiments of Ihsanoglu (and the OIC he represents) were reiterated more brazenly by the influential Qatari Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi during a sermon which aired February 3, 2006. Qaradawi demanded action from the United Nations in accord with purely Islamic, Sharia-based conceptions of “blasphemy”:

    …the governments [of the world] must be pressured to demand that the U.N. adopt a clear resolution or law that categorically prohibits affronts to prophets – to the prophets of the Lord and his Messengers, to His holy books, and to the religious holy places.

    Indeed the OIC, which clearly shares Sheikh Qaradawi’s viewpoint, has vigorously promoted the UN Defamation of Religions Resolution, which would give international sanction to Sharia-based criminalization of “blasphemy.”

    These frightening global trends have alarmed a remarkably brave and vocal, but distinctively miniscule cadre of Muslim intellectuals. In a brilliant, dispassionate modern analysis, Ibn Warraq described 14 characteristics of “Ur Fascism” as enumerated by Umberto Eco, analyzing their potential relationship to the major determinants of Islamic governance and aspirations, through the present. He adduces salient examples which reflect the key attributes discussed by Eco: the unique institution of jihad war; the establishment of a Caliphate under “Allah’s vicegerent on earth,” the Caliph—ruled by Sharia, which has always featured a rigid system of subservience and sacralized discrimination against non-Muslims and Muslim women, devoid of basic freedoms of conscience, and expression. Warraq’s assessment confirms what G.H. Bousquet concluded (in 1950) from his career studying the historical development and implementation of Islamic Law.

    The harsh, but sound and intellectually honest criticisms leveled against the Sharia by courageous freethinkers such as Ibn Warraq, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Wafa Sultan—to this day deemed “apostates” by the dominant obscurantist mainstream Muslim religio-political hierarchy—have been echoed by those still identified as “valid” Muslims. Most recently (in November, 2010), for example, the pious Shiite former Iraqi MP Sayyed Ayad Jamal Al-Din, made these candid remarks contrasting modern human rights and liberties, which he recognized as having uniquely Western origins, with Islamic Sharia-based conceptions of human rights—epitomized by the rule of the Taliban for Sunni Muslims, and the current Iranian regime for Shiites.

    Under the rule of Islam, there is no equality among people. Absolutely not. A Muslim is not like a dhimmi [i.e., a non-Muslim vanquished by jihad, and living under the Sharia, as per Koran 9:29, and related Muslim jurisprudence] The term dhimmi embodies a great deal of scorn and contempt. It is as if the Christian is saying: “I am under your protection, under your thumb.” This is what it means…The notion of civic identity is based on equality in duties and rights, but under the rule of Islam, Muslims and non-Muslims are not equal – neither in their duties, nor in their rights. […]

    The late regime of the Taliban in Afghanistan was a pure Sunni Islamic rule. A clear Shiite regime is that of the Jurisprudent Ruler, who claims to be substituting the Prophet Muhammad, and… He is Allah upon the Earth, more or less.

    Whoever wants the rule of the shari’a should turn to the Taliban government or to the Ayatollah’s government in Iran. Or else he should select [the] Western…human rights and the notion of liberties. These human rights do not exist in Islam. […]

    Seeing No Sharia in America—(Self-Righteous) Ignorance Uber Alles?

    It is somewhat ironic that immensely popular Fox News host Bill O’Reilly epitomizes the willful blindness to Sharia encroachment in the US. O’Reilly has been pilloried by the Left for both his undeniably accurate statements that the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism on 9/11/2001 were committed by Muslims, and more broadly, his commonsensical recognition of the global plethora of jihad-related “Muslim problems” outside the US. Nonetheless, O’Reilly is in lockstep with his media and political antagonists when it comes to glib, ignorant denial—mindslaughter—regarding the pervasive support for Sharia by mainstream Islamic religious organizations, and Muslim religious leaders, in America.

    O’Reilly’s personal see-no-Sharia-mindslaughter was displayed vividly when he offered to wield a hammer on behalf of the Ground Zero Mosque project. His statement revealed a basic ignorance of mosque promoter Feisal Rauf’s expressed ideology, including the imam’s Sharia-based conception of “peace” itself—more accurately, a global Pax Islamica.

    There is nothing “nuanced” about Imam Feisal Rauf’s belief in the primacy of Sharia in society—any society—despite its permanent advocacy of jihad and dehumanizing injunctions on non-Muslims and women.

    Rauf, in his 2004 “What’s Right With Islam”—released in Malaysia as, “A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Da’wah From the Heart of America Post-9/11,” asserts that the US is in a state of “readiness” for the Sharia:

    …[T]he American political structure is Shariah compliant, for a state inhabited predominantly by Muslims neither defines nor makes it synonymous with an Islamic state.

    And Rauf also charts how the US could evolve toward what is clearly his ultimate goal—an Islamic State—beginning with a parallel Sharia judiciary:

    …[It] also would not be a violation of church-state separation to have a subsidiary entity within judiciary that employs religious jurists…to comment on the compliance of certain decisions…to provide guidance on how Shariah compliant these decisions are…It can become truly Islamic only by virtues of a conscious application of the sociopolitical tenets of Islam to the life of the national, and by an incorporation of those tenets in the basic constitution of the country.

    However it is Rauf’s earlier 1999 “Islam: A Sacred Law: What Every Muslim Should Know About Sharia” which makes unmistakably clear both the triumphal basis for his pious Muslim desire to impose Islamic Law, and the far reaching effects of this application:

    …God’s role in the explicit philosophical construct of the law makes a big difference between the modus operandi of a righteous Muslim judge in a Muslim court and a righteous Western judge in a Western court. The judge who sits in judgment in an Islamic court sits in lieu of God as His worldly representative [khalifa] and is held responsible by God to His values. The Muslim judge explicitly ‘reports to God.’ The judge who sits in a Western court is only explicitly responsible to the Constitution, the interpretations of a civil law and its rules…And since a Shariah is understood as a law with God at its center, it is not possible in principle to limit the Shariah to some aspects of human life and leave out others.”…The Shariah thus covers every field of law—public and private, national and international—together with enormous amounts of material that Westerners would not regard as law at all, because the basis of the Shariah is the worship of, and obedience to, God through good works and moral behavior. Following the Sacred Law thus defines the Muslim’s belief in God.

    Pace witless, apologetic assessments by non-Muslim public intellectuals and talking heads, irrespective of their political ideology, Imam Rauf’s unabashed support for a holistic application of Sharia, reflects the prevailing attitudes—and goals—of the US Muslim community. Confirmatory evidence of this widespread, dangerous American Muslim phenomenon abounds, despite being almost universally, and willfully, ignored—from ominous polling data, to jihad funding trial revelations and the content of more banal Muslim litigation proceedings, mosque surveillance reports, analyses of Islamic education institutions and their Muslim schoolchildren’s textbooks, the issuance of obscurantist “fatwas” (Islamic legal rulings) by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, and finally, an open declaration by one of America’s largest mainstream Muslims organizations, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), in its 2010 ICNA Member’s Hand Book, calling for the (re-)creation of a global Muslim Caliphate, and the imposition of Sharia law in America. Salient details from these illustrative examples, include:

    * Data (compiled here) from an April 2001 survey performed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) revealing that 69% of American Muslims in America affirmed that it was “absolutely fundamental” or “very important” to have Salafi (i.e., fundamentalist Islamic) teachings at their mosques, while 67 % of respondents agreed with the statement “America is an immoral, corrupt society.” Another poll conducted in Detroit area mosques during 2003 found that 81% of the respondents endorsed the application of the Sharia where Muslims comprised a majority.

    * An internal Muslim Brotherhood statement dated May 22, 1991, whose contents were revealed during the Texas Holy Land Foundation jihad-terrorism funding trial. Written by an acolyte of the Brotherhood’s major theoretician, lionized Qatari cleric, popular Al-Jazeera television personality, and head of the European Fatwa Council Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the document entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group In North America,” is indeed self-explanatory: “The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and by the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

    * The Mapping Shariah Project’s initial findings from 100 mosques randomly selected across the U.S. testing the hypothesis that Sharia adherence within mosques (including, among many other factors, gender separation, clothing, male facial hair, jewelry, strictness on alignment shoulder-to-shoulder during prayer, etc.) would correlate with incitement to jihadism, revealed:

    –75% of the mosques are Sharia-adherent (on a scale of 1-10, they are 7 or higher).

    –25% of the mosques were very low Sharia-adherent (1-2 on the scale).

    –The correlation between Sharia-adherence and the use of literature calling for violence against the infidel and apostate and jihad was 0.9—an almost 1:1 relationship.

    –In most mosques where this violent literature was found, the Imam actively encouraged the Mapping Shariah Project’s researcher posing as a new attendee, to study this violent material.

    * A provisional inquiry by the Public Policy Alliance uncovered 17 instances in 11 states of American judges accepting “input” from Sharia in rendering judgments, including an odious, widely publicized New Jersey ruling that upheld Sharia-sanctioned marital rape. Appellate court intervention was required to reverse this ruling in July 2010—Western legal norms prevailing over the Sharia—with the presiding judge soberly concluding that the Muslim husband’s “…conduct in engaging in nonconsensual sexual intercourse was unquestionably knowing, regardless of his view that his [Islamic] religion permitted him to act as he did.” Completely ignored at the time of these New Jersey proceedings was the fact that marital rape is not recognized as criminal, i.e., it is sanctioned, by a fatwa of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America! (see below)

    * Investigations of textbooks widely used in the New York city area Islamic schools, as well as the Islamic Saudi Academy of Fairfax Virginia which discovered the inculcation of Sharia supremacism, including sacralized disparagement and hatred of non-Muslims, especially Jews. When questioned for the March, 30 2003 NY Daily News story on New York area Islamic school textbooks, Yahiya Emerick, head of a Queens-based nonprofit curriculum development project for the Islamic Foundation of North America, defended the language in these books, denying they were inflammatory. Emerick opined, “Islam, like any belief system, believes its program is better than others. I don’t feel embarrassed to say that…[The books] are directed to kids in a Muslim educational environment. They must learn and appreciate there are differences between what they have and what other religions teach. It’s telling kids that we have our own tradition.”

    * The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), whose mission statement maintains the organization was, “…founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America…AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities…”, is accepted as such by the mainstream American Muslim community. Notwithstanding this mainstream acceptance, including uncritical endorsement of its recent seventh annual American conference in Houston (October 15-18, 2010) to train American imams, AMJA has issued rulings which sanction the killing of apostates, “blasphemers” (including non-Muslims guilty of this “crime”), or adulterers (by stoning to death), and condone marital rape.

    * Finally, as reported by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), one of the largest mainstream U.S. Muslim organizations, in its 2010 ICNA Member’s Hand Book, openly acknowledges being the American branch of a global jihadist phenomenon referred to as the ‘Islamic Movement.’ The 2010 Hand Book observes, that branches of this movement “…are active in various parts of the world to achieve the same objectives. It is our obligation as Muslims to engage in the same noble cause here in North America.” These efforts will culminate in the (re-)creation of a transnational Islamic superstate, the Caliphate, under the Sharia: “.…the united Muslim Ummah [community] in a united Islamic state, governed by an elected khalifah in accordance with the laws of shari’ah.”

    Conclusions

    The appropriate concluding question, in light of this mountain of disturbing evidence, might be, “What Is to Be Un-Done?”—invoking ideals and motivations directly opposed to the Leninist mantra. We must heed Newt Gingrich’s clarion call, and promote the Sharia educational, and anti-Sharia advocacy resources provided, in particular, by the Center for Security Policy, under the aegis of the indefatigable Frank Gaffney.

    As a tenacious fighter against both Nazi and Communist totalitarianism, historian Karl Wittfogel (d. 1988) was optimistic that,

    A new insight that is fully perceived, convincingly communicated, and daringly applied may change the face of a military and political campaign. It may change the face of a historical crisis.

    Identifying and vociferously rejecting the encroachment of Islamic Sharia is the apposite “insight” for our era applying Wittfogel’s paradigm.

    Wittfogel concluded his great 1957 work on pre-modern Eastern totalitarianism, “Oriental Despotism—A Comparative Study of Total Power,” with what remain defining questions for free Western societies confronting Islamic totalitarianism more than a half century later, ultimately citing Herodotus, the West’s first true historian, to remind us of the most appropriate—and courageous—inspiration:

    Ultimately, the readiness to sacrifice and the willingness to take the calculated risk of alliance against the total enemy depend upon the proper evaluation of two simple issues: slavery and freedom.

    The good citizens of classical Greece drew strength from the determination of two of their countrymen, Sperthias and Bulis, to resist the lure of total power. On their way to Suza, the Spartan envoys were met by Hydarnes, a high Persian official, who offered to make them mighty in their homeland, if only they would attach themselves to the Great King, his despotic master. To the benefit of Greece—and to the benefit of all free men—Herodotus has preserved their answer. “Hydarnes,” they said, “thou art a one-sided counselor. Thou has experience of half the matter; but the other half is beyond thy knowledge. A slave’s life thou understandest; but, never having tasted liberty, thou canst not tell whether it be sweet or no. Ah! Hadst thou known what freedom is, thou wouldst have bidden us fight for it, not with spear only, but with the battle-axe.”

    http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/2010/12/24/see-no-sharia-mindslaughter-2/
    More links in the article at above site.

  34. http://www.buddhismaustralia.org/budislam.htm

    Un-pc comparison of Buddhism to Islam.

  35. Atheist and Buddhist, Sam Harris:
    Sam Harris: The Problem with Islamic Fundamentalism are the Fundamentals of Islam

  36. Sam Harris:

  37. Atheist Richard Dawkins on Islam – “one of the great evils in the world”

  38. Dawkins on Islam

  39. Muslim treatment of Indians was not unique to Indians. It was not about Hindus or Indians but about non-Muslims. If you were a non-Muslim who was Jewish or Christian (another Abrahamic religion) you got to be dhimmis, Jim Crow type of existence and tolerance. All other non-Muslims who were not of one of the Abrahamic faiths had it much worse and were not allowed the tolerance of the Islamic state as dhimmis – their choice was only conversion death or enslavement (See Princeton Professor Bernard Lewis, “The Multiple Identities of the Middle East). See how Egyptian Copts are treated today. See also this video on Black African slave trade by Muslims by an African who wants to bring the truth out:
    Muslim Genocide on Black Africans Through Mass-Castration – Tidiane N´Diaye

  40. Europeans have forgotten their own enslavement. “Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800”
    Robert C. Davis

    Also Bernard Lewis, “Race and Slavery in the Middle East” – he tends to white wash slavery in the Muslim world, but slavery is awful period, but even his white washed dipiction of slavery in the Muslim world shows it to be a massive international enterprise enslaving people from Africa, Asia, and Europe for centuries, because slavery was and is still today permitted in Islam (see Dafur genocide and enslavement by Arabs today):
    “Though a free Muslim could not be enslaved, conversion to Islam by a non-Muslim slave did not require his liberation. His slave status was not affected by his Islam, nor was that of a Muslim child born to slave parents.

    There were occasional slave rebellions and, from the rules and regulations about runaway slaves, it would appear that such escapes were not infrequent. Slaves from neighboring countries might have some chance of returning to their homes, and examples are known of European slaves in the Ottoman lands escaping to Europe, where some indeed wrote memoirs or accounts of their captivity. The chances of a slave from the steppe-lands or from Africa finding his way back were remote.

    As we have seen, the slave population was recruited in four main ways: by capture, tribute, offspring, and purchase.

    Capture: In the early centuries of Islam, during the period of the conquest and expansion, this was the most important source. With the stabilization of the frontier, the numbers recruited in this way diminished, and eventually provided only a very small proportion of slave requirements. Frontier warfare and naval raiding yielded some captives, but these were relatively few and were usually exchanged. In later centuries, warfare in Africa or India supplied some slaves by capture. With the spread of Islam, and the acceptance of dhimml status by increasing numbers of non-Muslims, the possibilities for recruitment by capture were severely restricted.

    Tribute: Slaves sometimes formed part of the tribute required from vassal states beyond the Islamic frontiers. The first such treaty ever made, that of the year 31 of the Hijra (= 652 A.D.), with the black king of Nubia, included an annual levy of slaves to be provided from Nubia. This may indeed have been the reason why Nuhia was for a long time not conquered. The stipulated delivery of some hundreds of male and female slaves, later supplemented by elephants, giraffes, and other wild beasts, continued at least until the twelfth century, when it was disrupted by a series of bitter wars between the Muslim rulers of Egypt and the Christian kings of Nubia. Similar agreements, providing for the delivery of a tribute of slaves, were imposed by the early Arab conquerors on neighboring princes in Iran and Central Asia, but were of briefer duration.

    Offspring: The recruitment of the slave population by natural increase seems to have been small and, right through to modern times, insufficient to maintain numbers. This is in striking contrast with conditions in the New World, where the slave population increased very rapidly. Several factors contributed to this difference, perhaps the most important being that the slave population in the Islamic Middle East was constantly drained by the liberation of slaves — sometimes as an act of piety, most commonly through the recognition and liberation, by a freeman, of his own offspring by a slave mother. There were also other reasons for the low natural increase of the slave population in the Islamic world. They include

    * 1. Castration. A fair proportion of male slaves were imported as eunuchs and thus precluded from having offspring. Among these were many who otherwise, by the wealth and power which they acquired, might have founded families .
    * 2. Another group of slaves who rose to positions of great power, the military slaves, were normally liberated at some stage in their career, and their offspring were therefore free and not slaves.
    * 3. In general, only the lower orders of slaves — menial, domestic, and manual workers — remained in the condition of servitude and transmitted that condition to their descendants. There were not many such descendants — casual mating was not permitted and marriage was not encouraged.
    * 4. There was a high death toll among all classes of slaves, including great military commanders as well as humble menials. Slaves came mainly from remote places, and, lacking immunities, died in large numbers from endemic as well as epidemic diseases. As late as the nineteenth century, Wes ern travelers in North Africa and Egypt noted the high death rate among imported black slaves.

    Purchase: This came to be by far the most important means for the legal acquisition of new slaves. Slaves were purchased on the frontiers of the Islamic world and then imported to the major centers, where there were slave markets from which they were widely distributed. In one of the sad paradoxes of human history, it was the humanitarian reforms brought by Islam that resulted in a vast development of the slave trade inside, and still more outside, the Islamic empire. In the Roman world, the slave population was occasionally recruited from outside, when a new territory was conquered or a barbarian invasion repelled, but mostly, slaves came from internal sources. This was not possible in the Islamic empire, where, although slavery was maintained, enslavement was banned. The result was an increasingly massive importation of slaves from the outside. Like enslavement, mutilation was forbidden by Islamic law. The great numbers of eunuchs needed to preserve the sanctity of palaces, homes, and some holy places had to be imported from outside or, as often happened, “manufactured” at the frontier. In medieval and Ottoman times the two main sources of eunuchs were Slavs and Ethiopians (Habash, a term which commonly included all the peoples of the Horn of Africa). Eunuchs were also recruited among Greeks (Rum), West Africans (Takrurl, pl. Takarina), Indians, and occasionally West Europeans.

    The slave population of the Islamic world was recruited from many lands. In the earliest days, slaves came principally from the newly conquered countries — from the Fertile Crescent and Egypt, from Iran and North Africa, from Central Asia, India, and Spain. Most of these slaves had a cultural level at least as high as that of their Arab masters, and by conversion and manumission they were rapidly absorbed into the general population. As the supply of slaves by conquest and capture diminished, the needs of the slave market were met, more and more, by importation from beyond the frontier. Small numbers of slaves were brought from India, China, Southeast Asia, and the Byzantine Empire, most of them specialists and technicians of one kind or another. The vast majority of unskilled slaves, however, came from the lands immediately north and south of the Islamic world — whites from Europe and the Eurasian steppes, blacks from Africa south of the Sahara. Among white Europeans and black Africans alike, there was no lack of enterprising merchants and middlemen, eager to share in this profitable trade, who were willing to capture or kidnap their neighbors and deliver them, as slaves, to a ready and expanding market. In Europe there was also an important trade in slaves, Muslim, Jewish, pagan, and even Orthodox Christian, recruited by capture and bought for mainly domestic use.

    Central and East European slaves, generally known as Saqaliba (i.e., Slavs), were imported by three main routes: overland via France and Spain, from Eastern Europe via the Crimea, and by sea across the Mediterranean. They were mostly but not exclusively Slavs. Some were captured by Muslim naval raids on European coasts, particularly the Dalmatian. Most were supplied by European, especially Venetian, slave merchants, who delivered cargoes of them to the Muslim markets in Spain and North Africa. The Saqaliba were prominent in Muslim Spain and to a lesser extent in North Africa but played a minor role in the East. With the consolidation of powerful states in Christian Europe, the supply of West European slaves dried up and was maintained only by privateering and coastal raiding from North Africa.

    Black slaves were brought into the Islamic world by a number of routes — from West Africa across the Sahara to Morocco and Tunisia, from Chad across the desert to Libya, from East Africa down the Nile to Egypt, and across the Red Sea and Indian Ocean to Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Turkish slaves from the steppe-lands were marketed in Samarkand and other Muslim Central Asian cities and from there exported to Iran, the Fertile Crescent, and beyond. Caucasians, of increasing importance in the later centuries, were brought from the land bridge between the Black Sea and the Caspian and were marketed mainly in Aleppo and Mosul.

    By Ottoman times, the first for which we have extensive documentation, the pattern of importation had changed. At first, the expanding Ottoman Empire, like the expanding Arab Empire of earlier times, recruited its slaves by conquest and capture, and great numbers of Balkan Christians were forcibly brought into Ottoman service. The distinctively Ottoman institution of the devsirme, the levy of boys from the Christian village population, made it possible, contrary to previous Islamic law and practice, to recruit slaves from the subject peoples of the conquered provinces. The devsirme slaves were not servants or menials, however, but were groomed for the service of the state in military and civil capacities. For a long time, most of the grand viziers and military commanders of the Ottoman forces were recruited in this way. In the early seventeenth century, the devsirme was abandoned; by the end of the seventeenth century, the Ottoman advance into Europe had been decisively halted and reversed. Sea raiders operating out of North African ports continued to bring European captives, but these did not significantly add to the slave populations. Pretty girls disappeared into the harem; men often had the choice of being ransomed or joining their captors — a choice of which many availed themselves. The less fortunate, like the Muslim captives who fell to the European maritime powers, served in the galleys.

    The slave needs of the Ottoman Empire were now met from new sources. One of these was the Caucasians — the Georgians, Circassians, and related peoples, famous for providing beautiful women and brave and handsome men. The former figured prominently in the harems, the latter in the armies and administrations of the Ottoman and also the Persian states. The supply of these was reduced but not terminated by the Russian conquest of the Caucasus in the early years of the nineteenth century. Another source of supply was the Tatar khanate of the Crimea, whose raiders every year rode far and wide in Central and Eastern Europe, carrying off great numbers of male and female slaves. These were brought to the Crimea and shipped thence to the slave markets in Istanbul and other Turkish cities. This trade came to an end with the Russian annexation of the Crimea in 1783 and the extinction of Tatar independence.

    Deprived of most of their sources of white slaves, the Ottomans turned more and more to Africa, which in the course of the nineteenth century came to provide the overwhelming majority of slaves used in Muslim countries from Morocco to Asia. According to a German report published in 1860,

    “the black slaves, at that time, were recruited mainly by raiding and kidnapping from Sennaar, Kordofan, Darfur, Nubia, and other places in inner Africa; the white mostly through voluntary sale on the part of their relatives in the independent lands of the Caucasus (Lesghi, Daghestani, and Georgian women, rarely men). Those offered for sale were already previously of servile status or were slave children by birth.”

    The need, from early medieval times onward, to import large and growing numbers of slaves led to a rapid increase, in all the lands beyond the frontiers of the Islamic world, of both slave raiding and slave trading — the one to procure and maintain an adequate supply of the required commodity, the other to ensure its efficient distribution and delivery. In the ancient world, where most slaves other than war captives were of local provenance, slave trading was a simple and mostly local affair, often combined with other articles of commerce. In the Islamic world, where slaves were transported over great distances from their places of origin, the slave trade was more complex and more specialized with a network of trade routes and markets extending all over the Islamic world and far beyond its frontiers and involving commercial relations with suppliers in Christian Europe, in the Turkish steppe-lands, and in black Africa. In every important city there was a slave market, usually called Suq al-Raqiq. When new supplies were brought, government inspectors usually took the first choice, then officials, then private persons. It would seem that slaves were not normally sold in open markets but in decently covered places — a practice which continued in some areas to the nineteenth, in others till the twentieth, century.

    There is a fair amount of information on slave prices, most of it too heterogeneous in date and provenance to provide more than a general impression. The best-documented data come from medieval Egypt and show a remarkable consistency in price levels. Slave girls averaged twenty dinars (gold pieces), corresponding, at the rate of gold to silver current at that time, to 266 dirhams (silver pieces). Other medieval data show somewhat higher prices. Black slaves seem to have cost from two to three hundred dirhams; black eunuchs, at least two or three times as much. Female black slaves were sold at five hundred dirhams or so; trained singing girls or other performers, at ten or even twenty thousand. White slaves, mainly for military purposes, were more expensive. Prices of three hundred dirhams are quoted for Turks near the source in Central Asia, and much higher prices elsewhere. In Baghdad they fetched four to five hundred dirhams, while a white slave girl could be sold for a thousand dinars or more. The mid-nineteenth-century German report from Turkey quotes prices of four thousand to five thousand piasters, or two hundred to three hundred dollars, as the current price in Istanbul for a “trained, strong, black slave,” while “for white slave girls of special beauty, fifty thousand piasters and more are paid.” In general, eunuchs fetched higher prices than other males, younger slaves were worth more than older slaves, and slave women, whether for work or pleasure, were more expensive than males. Olufr Eigilsson, an Icelandic Lutheran pastor who was carried off to captivity with his family and many of his flock when his native village was raided by Barbary Corsairs in 1627 and who wrote an account of his adventures, notes that his young maidservant was sold for seven hundred dollars and later resold for a thousand.

    Slaves were employed in a number of functions — in the home and the shop, in agriculture and industry, in the military, as well as in specialized tasks. The Islamic world did not operate on a slave system of production, as is said of classical antiquity, but slavery was not entirely domestic either. Slave laborers of various kinds were of some importance in medieval times, especially where large-scale enterprises were involved, and they continued to be into the nineteenth century. The most important slaves, however, those of whom we have the fullest information, were domestic and commercial, and it is they who were the characteristic slaves of the Muslim world. They seem to have been mainly blacks, with some Indians, and some whites. ln later times, for which we have more detailed evidence, it would seem that while the slaves often suffered appalling privations from the moment of their capture until their arrival at their final destination, once they were placed with a family they were reasonably well treated and accepted in some degree as members of the household. In commerce, slaves were often apprenticed to their masters, sometimes as assistants, sometimes advancing to become agents or even business partners.

    The slave and also the liberated ex-slave played an important part in domestic life. Eunuchs were required for the protection and maintenance of harems, as confidential servants, as palace staff, and also as custodians of mosques, tombs, and other sacred places. Slave women were required mainly as concubines and as menials. A Muslim slaveowner was entitled by law to the sexual enjoyment of his slave women. While free women might own male slaves, they had of course no equivalent right.

    The economic exploitation of slaves, apart from some construction work, took place mainly in the countryside, away from the cities, and like almost everything else about rural life is sparsely documented. The medieval Islamic world was a civilization of cities. Both its law and its literature deal almost entirely with townspeople, their lives and problems, and remarkably little information has come down to us concerning life in the villages and the countryside. Sometimes a dramatic event like the revolt of the Zanj in southern Iraq or an occasional passing reference in travel literature sheds a sudden light on life in the countryside. Otherwise, we remain ignorant of what was happening outside the cities until the sixteenth century, when for the first time the surviving Ottoman archives make it possible to follow in some detail the life and activities of rural populations — and the exploration of this material has still barely begun. The common view of Islamic slavery as primarily domestic and military may therefore reflect the bias of our documentation rather than the reality. There are occasional references, however, to large gangs of slaves, mostly black, employed in agriculture, in the mines, and in such special tasks as the drainage of marshes. Some, less fortunate, were hired out by their owners for piecework. These working slaves had a much harder life. The most unfortunate of all were those engaged in agricultural and other manual work and large-scale enterprises, such as for example the Zanj slaves used to drain the salt flats of southern Iraq, and the blacks employed in the salt mines of the Sahara and the gold mines of Nubia. These were herded in large settlements and worked in gangs. Large landowners, or crown lands, often employed thousands of such slaves. While domestic and commercial slaves were relatively well-off, these lived and died in wretchedness. Of the Saharan salt mines it is said that no slave lived there for more than five years. The cultivation of cotton and sugar, which the Arabs brought from the East across North Africa and into Spain, most probably entailed some kind of plantation system. Certainly, the earliest relevant Ottoman records show the extensive use of slave labor in the state-maintained rice plantations. Some such system, for cultivation of cotton and sugar, was taken across North Africa into Spain and perhaps beyond. While economic slave labor was mainly male, slave women were sometimes also exploited economically. The pre-lslamic practice of hiring out female slaves as prostitutes is expressly forbidden by Islamic law but appears to have survived nonetheless.

    The military slaves were in a sense the aristocrats of the slave population. By far the most important among these were the Turks imported from the Eurasian steppe, from Central Asia, and from what is now Chinese Turkistan. A similar position was occupied by Slavs in medieval Muslim Spain and North Africa and, later, by slaves of Balkan and Caucasian origin in the Ottoman Empire. Black slaves were occasionally employed as soldiers, but this was not common and was usually of brief duration.

    Certainly the most privileged of slaves were the performers. Both slave boys and slave girls who revealed some talent received musical, literary, and artistic education. In medieval times most singers, dancers, and musical performers were, at least in origin, slaves. Perhaps the most famous was Ziryab, a Persian slave at the court of Baghdad who later went to Spain, where he became an arbiter of taste and is credited with having introduced asparagus to Europe. Not a few slaves and freedmen have left their names in Arabic poetry and history….” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/lewis1.html

  41. Atheist Pat Condell on Islamic CULTURAL Terrorism

  42. Dutch experience:
    “The Netherlands to Abandon Multiculturalism
    by Soeren Kern
    June 23, 2011 at 5:00 am

    The Dutch government says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands.

    A new integration bill (covering letter and 15-page action plan), which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on June 16, reads: “The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people. In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role. With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society.”

    The letter continues: “A more obligatory integration is justified because the government also demands that from its own citizens. It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart and eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands. The integration will not be tailored to different groups.”

    The new integration policy will place more demands on immigrants. For example, immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language, and the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants to ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.

    The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because, according to Donner, “it is not the government’s job to integrate immigrants.” The government will introduce new legislation that outlaws forced marriages and will also impose tougher measures against Muslim immigrants who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress. More specifically, the government will impose a ban on face-covering Islamic burqas as of January 1, 2013.

    If necessary, the government will introduce extra measures to allow the removal of residence permits from immigrants who fail their integration course….

    As expected, Muslim organizations in Holland have been quick to criticize the proposals. The Moroccan-Dutch organization Samenwerkingsverband van Marokkaanse Nederlanders, which advises the government on integration matters, argues that Muslim immigrants need extra support to find a job. The umbrella Muslim group Contactorgaan Moslims en Overheid says that although it agrees that immigrants should be better integrated into Dutch society, it is opposed to a ban on burqas.

    But polls show that a majority of Dutch voters support the government’s skepticism about multiculturalism. According to a Maurice de Hond poll published by the center-right newspaper Trouw on June 19, 74 percent of Dutch voters say immigrants should conform to Dutch values. Moreover, 83 percent of those polled support a ban on burqas in public spaces.

    The proper integration of the more than one million Muslims now living in Holland has been a major political issue ever since 2002…

    Muslim immigration to the Netherlands can be traced back to the 1960s and 1970s, when a blue collar labor shortage prompted the Dutch government to conclude recruitment agreements with countries like Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. In the 1980s and 1990s, Muslims also arrived in the Netherlands as asylum seekers and refugees, mainly from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia.

    There are now an estimated 1.2 million Muslims in the Netherlands, which is equivalent to about 6 percent of the country’s overall population. Moroccans and Turks comprise nearly two-thirds of all Muslims in the Netherlands. Most Muslims live in the four major cities of the country: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

    As their numbers grow, Muslim immigrants have become increasingly more assertive in carving out a role for Islam within Dutch society. For example, a documentary aired by the television program Netwerk in June 2009 reported that Dutch law was being systematically undermined by the growth of Sharia justice in the Netherlands.

    In December 2004, the Dutch Ministry of the Interior published a 60-page report titled From Dawa to Jihad. Prepared by the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD, the report says that the Netherlands is home to up to 50,000 radical Muslims whose key ideological aim is to target the Western way of life and to confront Western political, economic, and cultural domination.

    The report concludes that Dutch society is poorly equipped to resist the threat of radical Islam because of “a culture of permissiveness” that has become synonymous with “closing one’s eyes” to multiple transgressions of the law.

    As for Interior Minister Donner, he has undergone a late-in-life conversion on the issue of Muslim immigration. In September 2006, while serving as justice minister, Donner provoked an outcry after saying that he welcomed the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in the Netherlands if the majority wants it. He also said Holland should give Muslims more freedoms to behave according to their traditions.

    After applauding Queen Beatrix for respecting Islam by not insisting that a Muslim leader shake hands with her during a visit to the Mobarak Mosque in The Hague, Donner said: “A tone that I do not like has crept into the political debate on integration. A tone of: ‘Thou shalt assimilate. Thou shalt adopt our values in public. Be reasonable, do it our way.’ That is not my approach.”

    Fast forward to 2011 and Donner now says his government “will distance itself from the relativism contained in the model of a multicultural society.” Although society changes, he says, it must not be “interchangeable with any other form of society.” http://www.hudson-ny.org/2219/netherlands-abandons-multiculturalism

  43. Understanding the Jihed against Islrael and Ameirka – detailed and informative
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/understanding-the-jihad-against-israel-and-america/?singlepage=true

  44. ML

    Atheist Pat Condel on Illiberal Consensus

  45. Why is Kufr a Crime?

  46. MEMRI in French is the best source – see what is said in Arabic to other Arabs. http://www.memri.org/

  47. “British MP David Simpson, for example, has warned that Christianity is seen to be fair game for criticism and abuse while Islam receives special protection in the United Kingdom.”

    Gautier, when Europeans in Europe are forbidden to criticize Islam in Europe it should be no surprise that you as a European in India also get heat from other Europeans for being critical of Islam over in India.

    Whole article here:
    “Britain: Islam In, Christianity Out

    by Soeren Kern
    December 1, 2011 at 5:00 am

    A Christian worker in Britain has filed a lawsuit after losing her job when she exposed a campaign of systematic harassment by fundamentalist Muslims.

    In a landmark legal case, Nohad Halawi, a former employee at London’s Heathrow Airport, is suing her former employer for unfair dismissal, claiming that Christian staff members, including her, were discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.

    Halawi’s case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), an organization that provides legal support for Christians in the United Kingdom. CLC says the case raises important legal issues, and also questions over whether Muslims and Christians are treated differently by employers.

    Halawi, who immigrated to Britain from Lebanon in 1977, told the London Telegraph “that she was told that she would go to Hell for her religion, that Jews were responsible for the September 11th terror attacks, and that a friend was reduced to tears having been bullied for wearing a cross.”

    Halawi worked at the airport for 13 years as a saleswoman at World Duty Free, where she sold perfumes. Halawi was dismissed in July, following complaints by five Muslims that she was being “anti-Islamic.”

    Halawi says her problems with the Muslims began after she defended a Christian friend who worked with her at the same store, and who was being harassed by the Muslims for wearing a necklace with a cross.

    Matters got worse after Halawi described a Muslim staff member as an “allawhi,” or “man of God” in Arabic. Another worker, however, who overheard the remark, thought she said “Alawi,” his branch of Islam. The misunderstanding led to a heated argument, after which Hawali was suspended and then fired.

    Halawi says she persistently complained to management that she was being subjected to personal religious abuse and harassment from Muslim staff, some of whom went so far as to mock her about “shitty Jesus,” according to the CLC. She says a group of “extremist” Muslims were the perpetrators, and that other employees are now worried that their jobs could be at risk if the Muslim group turns on them.

    “One man brought in the Koran to work and insisted I read it and another brought in Islamic leaflets and handed them out to other employees,” Halawi told the London Telegraph. “They said that 9/11 served the Americans right and that they hated the West, but that they had come here because they want to convert people to Islam…This is supposed to be a Christian country, but the law seems to be on the side of the Muslims,” Halawi said.

    Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of the CLC, said in a statement that Halawi’s case is the most serious she has pursued, and that “it raises huge issues.”

    “First there is the level of Islamic fundamentalism prevalent at our main point of entry to the UK. Secondly, there are very real issues of religious discrimination, which it would appear those in authority are turning a blind eye to, using the current loopholes in employment law as an excuse,” Williams said.

    The Halawi case comes amid concerns that Christianity is being marginalized in Britain at the same time that Islam is spreading rapidly and Muslims are becoming more assertive.

    British MP David Simpson, for example, has warned that Christianity is seen to be fair game for criticism and abuse while Islam receives special protection in the United Kingdom.

    During a debate in the House of Commons in May 2011 about the treatment of Christians around the world, Simpson said: “In the United Kingdom, the policy seems to be that people can do whatever they like against Christianity – criticize it or blaspheme the name of Christ – as long as they do not insult Islam.”

    In London, the Harrow Council has provoked a storm of protest after announcing plans to offer Islamic halal-only menus in the borough’s 52 state primary schools. Parents are outraged that meat prepared according to Islamic Sharia law is being pushed on non-Muslim children. Meanwhile, most of the in-flight meals on British Airways could soon be halal. The airline also says Muslim staff may wear veils, but Christian employees may not wear crosses.

    Across Britain, Muslim bus and taxi drivers are telling blind passengers that they cannot bring their “unclean” dogs on board. The problem of prohibiting guide dogs on religious grounds has become so widespread that the matter was recently raised in the House of Lords.

    Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has criticized politically correct officials who remove carols and Nativity plays from Christmas celebrations in an effort to appease Muslims. He wrote: “The weary annual attempts by right-thinking people in Britain to ban or discourage Nativity plays or public carol-singing out of sensitivity to the supposed tender consciences of other religions fail to notice that most people of other religions and cultures both love the story and respect the message.”

    The politically correct enhancement of Islam at the expense of Christianity in Britain has been institutionalized by the 2006 Racial and Religious Hatred Act, which was enacted by the British government in an effort to ease religious tensions in the country amid a rapidly growing Muslim population. (Britain now has an estimated 2.5 million Muslims, giving it the third-largest Muslim population in Europe, after German and France.)

    The new law makes it a crime intentionally to stir up religious hatred against people on religious grounds, and has led to zealousness bordering on the absurd.

    In Nottingham, for example, the Greenwood Primary School cancelled a Christmas nativity play because it interfered with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. In Scarborough, the Yorkshire Coast College removed the words Christmas and Easter from their calendar not to offend Muslims. In Scotland, the Tayside Police Department apologized for featuring a German shepherd puppy as part of a campaign to publicize its new non-emergency telephone number. The postcards are potentially offensive to the city’s 3,000-strong Muslim community: Islamic legal tradition says that dogs are impure.

    In Glasgow, a Christian radio show host was fired after a debate between a Muslim and a Christian on whether Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” In Birmingham, two Christians were told by police “you cannot preach here, this is a Muslim area.” In Cheshire, two students at the Alsager High School were punished by their teacher for refusing to pray to Allah as part of their religious education class. Also in Cheshire, a 14-year-old Roman Catholic girl who attends Ellesmere Port Catholic High School was branded a truant by teachers for refusing to dress like a Muslim and visit a mosque.

    In Liverpool, a Christian couple were forced to sell their hotel after a female Muslim guest accused them of insulting her during a debate about Islam. In London, Rory Bremner, a political comedian, said that every time he writes a sketch about Islam, he fears that he is signing his own death warrant. At the same time, Scotland Yard says that Muslims who launch a shoe at another person are not committing a crime because the practice is Islamic symbolism.

    In Kent, police have been banned from asking for a person’s “Christian” name, as this request might offend Muslims. The Kent Police Department’s 62-page ‘Faith and Culture Resource’ guide tells officers to use “personal and family name” instead of “Christian” name. In East London, all elected members of Tower Hamlets town council were told not to eat during daylight hours in town hall meetings during the Muslim month of Ramadan. Special arrangements were also made to disrupt council meetings to allow for Muslim prayer. Meanwhile, the council renamed a staff Christmas party as a “festive meal.”

    Elsewhere in Britain, a foster mother has been struck off the social services register for allowing a Muslim girl in her care to convert to Christianity. Officials insist the woman, who has who has looked after more than 80 children in the past ten years, failed in her duty to preserve the girl’s religion and should have tried to stop the baptism. They ruled that the girl, now 17, should stay away from church for six months.

    In some British prisons, radical Muslim gangs are imposing Sharia law on non-Muslim inmates, who have been forced to stop playing Western music, take down pictures of women from their cells and stop eating sausage. The gangs are also targeting non-Muslim inmates for forced conversions to Islam.

    In Leeds, more than 200 Muslim inmates at a high security prison are set to launch a multi-million pound claim for compensation after they were offered ham sandwiches during the month of Ramadan. They say their human rights were breached when they were offered the meat, which is forbidden by Islam. At the same time, Muslim sex offenders in British prisons are asking to be exempt from a prison treatment program because the idea that “criminals should not have to talk about their offenses” is a “legitimate Islamic position.”

    In West Yorkshire, an electrician working for a housing association in Wakefield was told he would be fired for placing a small palm cross on the dashboard of his van. His employer said the cross could be offensive to Muslims: “Wakefield and District Housing has a stance of neutrality. We now have different faiths, new emerging cultures. We have to be respectful of all views and beliefs.”

    In London, the BBC in September dropped the terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (which translates from Latin to ‘the year of our Lord’) and replaced them with the “religiously-neutral” BCE and CE. In BBC justified the move this way: “As the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians.”

    Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who resigned as the Bishop of Rochester amid death threats from Muslim extremists in Britain, says the BBC’s move “amounts to the dumbing down of the Christian basis of our culture, language and history.”

  48. Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide
    Paul Marshall , Nina Shea http://www.amazon.com/Silenced-Apostasy-Blasphemy-Choking-Worldwide/dp/0199812284

    “The fatwa against Salman Rushdie awakened many westerners to the danger of being accused of blasphemy in the Muslim world. As this eye-opening volume reveals, accusations of “blasphemy,” “apostasy,” or “insulting Islam” are increasingly used by authoritarian governments and extremist forces in the Muslim world to acquire and consolidate power. These charges, have proved effective in intimidating not only converts and heterodox groups, but also political and religious reformers. In his foreword, the late Indonesian President Wahid observes that coercively applied blasphemy laws “narrow the bounds of acceptable discourse…not only about religion, but about vast spheres of life, literature, science and culture in general.”

    “Silenced” provides the first survey of such accusations in the contemporary Muslim world, in international organizations, and in the West. The authors describe hundreds of victims, including political dissidents, religious reformers, journalists, writers, artists, movie makers, and religious minorities throughout the Muslim world. They also document the political effects in Muslim societies of blasphemy and apostasy laws, as well as non-governmental fatwas and vigilante violence. Finally, they address the move toward new blasphemy laws in the West and the increasing threat of violence to stifle commentary on Islam in the West even in the absence of law.”

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