In largely secular western societies, Islam and its history are viewed by many non-Muslims as substantially irrelevant to how devout Muslims behave. Perhaps the view that religion is of little importance to devout Muslims is based on the role, minor if any, that religion and religious history play in their own secular lives. However, both Islamic teachings and history give devout Muslims their grounding in Islam and teach them that Islam is the religion of war, not peace: Islam must become the world’s only religion by extirpating all others.
Islam was founded by Mohamed ( c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE) in the sixth century. Mohamed
is considered, almost universally,[n 2] by Muslims to have been the last prophet sent by God to mankind[n 3] to restore Islam, which they believe to be the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. [Emphasis added.]
Islam considers the words of Mohamed, as transcribed in the “Holy” Quran and Hadith, to be the words of Allah. “Restoring” other monotheistic religions means changing them to comport with Islam as dictated to Mohamed by Allah; unaltered, those other religions cannot continue to exist; it is the duty of Muslims to force them to change or to exterminate them.
Islam provides the basis for Sunni and Shiite (principal branches of Islam) efforts to govern world civilization according to Islamic principles as voiced by Allah through his prophet, Mohamed. Since Islamic principles tolerate no religious or political freedoms (let alone contemporary gender equality or homosexuality notions), such western ideas must be extirpated — as they have been in Saudi Arabia (now the head of the UN Human Rights Council) and Iran. Islamic principles are also manifested by the hopes and efforts of the Islamic State (Sunni, like Saudi Arabia) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Shiite) to achieve their own caliphates.
Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Nasr is a scholar of Islamic law and a graduate of Egypt’s Al Azhar University — regularly touted as the world’s most prestigious Islamic university. Al Azhar University co-hosted Obama’s 2009 “New Beginnings” address in Cairo, to which Obama insisted that at least ten members of the Muslim Brotherhood be invited. According to an article at Jihad Watch,
After being asked why Al Azhar, which is in the habit of denouncing secular thinkers as un-Islamic, refuses to denounce the Islamic State as un-Islamic, Sheikh Nasr said:
It can’t [condemn the Islamic State as un-Islamic]. The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic? Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world [to establish it]. Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate. Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc. Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya [extracting tribute from religious minorities]. Al Azhar teaches stoning people. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic? [Emphasis added.]
Nasr joins a growing chorus of critics of Al Azhar. Last September, while discussing how the Islamic State burns some of its victims alive—most notoriously, a Jordanian pilot—Egyptian journalist Yusuf al-Husayni remarked on his satellite program that “The Islamic State is only doing what Al Azhar teaches… and the simplest example is Ibn Kathir’s Beginning and End.”
Since the world’s preeminent Islamic university teaches Islam as proclaimed by the Islamic State, how can non-Muslims claim that the Islamic State is not Islamic? Why do many, even conservatives, refer to the Islamic State and its allied Islamic terror groups as “radical” or “extremist?”
Martin Luther was “radical” and “extreme” because he tried to reform aspects of Roman Catholicism which he deemed malign.
He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God’s punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.
Unlike Martin Luther’s eventually successful efforts to reform aspects of Roman Catholicism, the efforts of Egyptian President Sisi and other moderate Muslims to reform Islam have thus far gained little traction. Obama appears to support President Sisi’s principal opponent in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliate, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Sisi and other moderates — rather than the Islamic State and Islamic nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia — should be characterized as “radical” or “extreme” because they dispute the teachings of Allah as relayed through his prophet, Mohamed. The proponents of Islam as it now exists are “mainstream,” and therefore neither “radical” nor “extreme.” We should support “radicals” like President Sisi.
As noted in an article titled Beware of Islamic Terrorism,
All Islamic terrorists — not only the Islamic State group and al-Qaida — systematically and deliberately target civilians, stabbing their Muslim and “infidel” host countries in the back, abusing their hospitality to advance 14 centuries of megalomaniac aspirations to rule the globe in general, and to reclaim the “waqf” (Allah-ordained) regions of Europe in particular.
Emboldened by Western indifference, these destabilizing and terror-intensifying aspirations have been bolstered by the Islamic educational systems in Europe, the U.S. and other Western countries. These proclaim a supposedly irrevocable Islamic title over the eighth-century Islamic conquests of Lyon, Nice and much of France, as well as all of Spain; the ninth-century subjugation of parts of Italy; and the ninth- and 10th-century occupations of western Switzerland, including Geneva. [Emphasis added.]
Europe has underestimated the critical significance of this long anti-Western history in shaping contemporary Islamic education, culture, politics, peace, war, and the overall Islamic attitude toward Europe, North America, Australia, and other “arrogant infidels.” “Infidel” France has been the prime European target for Islamic terrorists, with 11 reported attacks in 2015, despite France’s systematic criticism of Israel and support for the Palestinian Authority — dispelling conventional “wisdom” that Islamic terrorism is Israeli or Palestinian-driven.
Europe has ignored the significant impact the crucial milestones in the life of the Prophet Muhammad have had on contemporary Islamic geostrategy, such as his seventh-century Hijrah, when Muhammad, along with his loyalists, emigrated or fled from Mecca to Yathrib (Medina), not to be integrated and blend into Medina’s social, economic or political environment, but to advance and spread Islam through conversion, subversion and terrorism, if necessary. Asserting himself over his hosts and rivals in Medina, Muhammad gathered a critical mass of military might to conquer Mecca and launch Islam’s drive to dominate the world. [Emphasis added.]
According to a moderate Muslim, Maajid Nawaz, writing in an article at the Daily Beast titled ISIS Is Just One of a Full-Blown Global Jihadist Insurgency,
Our political leaders have been restricting the definition of this problem to whichever jihadist group is causing them the biggest headache at the present time, while ignoring the fact that they are all borne of the same Islamist ideology. Before ISIS emerged, the U.S. State Department strangely took to naming the problem “al Qaeda-inspired extremism,” even though it was not al Qaeda that inspired the radicalism. Rather, Islamist extremism inspired al Qaeda. And in turn, ISIS did not radicalize those 6,000 European Muslims who have traveled to join them, nor the thousands of supporters the French now say they are monitoring. [Emphasis added.]
This did not happened overnight and could not have emerged from a vacuum. ISIS propaganda is good, but not that good. No, decades of Islamist propaganda in communities had already primed these young Muslims to yearn for a theocratic caliphate. When surveyed, 33 percent of British Muslims expressed a desire to resurrect a caliphate. ISIS simply plucked the low-hanging fruit, which had been seeded long ago by various Islamist groups, and it will now require decades of community resilience to push back. But we cannot even begin to do so until we recognize the problem for what it is. Welcome to the full-blown global jihadist insurgency. [Emphasis added.]
The author of that article claims that Islamism (often referred to as “political Islam“) is not Islam:
I speak as a former Liberal Democrat candidate in the U.K.’s last general election and as someone who became a political prisoner in Egypt due to my former belief in Islamism. I speak, therefore, from a place of concern and familiarity, not enmity and hostility to Islam and Muslims. In a televised discussion with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on the issue, I have argued that of course ISIS is not Islam. Nor am I. Nor is anyone, really. Because Islam is what Muslims make it. But it is as disingenuous to argue that ISIS has “nothing to do with Islam” as it is to argue that “they are Islam.” ISIS has something to do with Islam. Not nothing, not everything, but something. . . . [Emphasis added.]
It is important to define here what I mean by Islamism: Islam is a religion, and like any other it is internally diverse. But Islamism is the desire to impose a very particular version of Islam on society. Hence, Islamism is Muslim theocracy. [Emphasis added.]
In another article, Mr. Nawaz acknowledges,
Islamism has been rising in the UK for decades. Over the years, in survey after survey, attitudes have reflected a worrying trend. A quarter of British Muslims sympathised with the Charlie Hebdo shootings. 0% have expressed tolerance for homosexuality. A third have claimed that killing for religion can be justified, while 36% have thought apostates should be killed. 40% have wanted the introduction of sharia as law in the UK and 33% have expressed a desire to see the return of a worldwide theocratic Caliphate. Is it any wonder then, that from this milieu up to 1,000 British Muslims have joined ISIS, which is more than joined the Army reserves.
I wish Mr. Nawaz well and hope that his efforts to change Islam succeed. However, in drawing distinctions between Islam and Islamism, he seems to have forgotten, or perhaps to have chosen to ignore, the teachings of Allah as relayed by his messenger and Islam’s founder, Mohamed, referenced at the beginning of this article. Mohamed (and presumably Allah himself) would be surprised by and even horrified at such notions as “Islam is what Muslims make it” and that Islam does not contemplate a Muslim theocracy. So, in all probability, would be many of the clerics at Egypt’s Al Azhar University.
Here are a few videos of Islamic clerics spreading their messages of Islamic peace, love and tolerance. The last of the bunch is about one of Obama’s favorite Muslims.
To close on a somewhat lighter note, here are a few observations by Jonah Goldberg taken from his Goldberg file (November 20, 2015 e-mail),
If you Google “Christian terrorism,” you’re probably a jackass to begin with. But if you do — bidden not by your own drive to jackassery but by the natural curiosity inspired by this “news” letter — you’ll find lots of left-wingtrollery about how the worst terrorist attacks on American soil have been committed by Christians. Much of it is tendentious, question-begging twaddle. But I really don’t want to waste a lot of time on whether Tim McVeigh was a Christian or not (he really wasn’t).
What I find interesting is that many of the same people who clutch their pearls at the mere suggestion that Islamic terrorism has anything to do with — oh, what’s the word again? — oh right: Islam, seem to have no problem making the case that “Christian terrorism” is like a real thing. Remember how so many liberals loved — loved — Obama’s sophomoric and insidious tirade about not getting on our “high horses” about ISIS’s atrocities in the here and now because medieval Christians did bad things a thousand years ago? They never seem to think that argument through. Leaving out the ass-aching stupidity of the comparison, it actually concedes the very point Obama never wants to concede. By laying the barbaric sins of Christians a thousand years ago at the feet of Christians today, he implicitly tags Muslims with the barbarism committed in their name today. [Emphasis added.]
Now, I see no need to wade too deeply into the theology here, but I think I am on very solid ground when I say that Islamic terrorism draws more easily and deeply from the Koran than Tim McVeigh drew from the Christian Bible. Of course, you’re free to disagree. In a free society, everybody has the right to be wrong in their opinions. (But don’t tell anyone at Yale that.)
. . . .
But it is simply a lie — an obvious, glaring, indisputable, trout-in-the-milk lie — that Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.
Simply put, this is nonsense. . . . The jihadists say they are motivated by Islam. They shout “Allahu akbar!” whenever they kill people. “Moderate Muslims” in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere have been funding Islamic radicals around the world for nearly a century. This morning in Mali, terrorist gunmen reportedly released those hostages who could quote the Koran. The leader of ISIS has a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies and openly talks about restoring the Caliphate. [Emphasis added.]
Despite all of this, don’t be distracted from the greatest threat to our security; or perhaps we should be: